Celgene and Innovent Select Adimab for Discovery Tech

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Celgene and Innovent Select Adimab for Discovery Tech

Related tags: Antibody, Immune system

Adimab says there are more antibody discovery partnerships to come following deals inked with Celgene and Innovent.

Last month Adimab partnered with GlaxoSmithKline and Biogen Idec​ and yesterday the firm announced US firm Celgene and Chinese antibody manufacturer Innovent have both penned deals.

With both these deals Adimab’s scientists will be discovering drugs for specific targets set by the respective clients from its facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Adimab’s CEO Tillman Gerngross told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

"We put a significant effort into staying ahead of the curve and upping the game”​ in discovering antibodies, he told us. “As a company we have made a deliberate decision that we will not discover our own drugs.”

“Those models in my opinion have not worked well and therefore we have taken the decision to do one thing and do it better than anyone else. I think the market has validated that model by the deals we’ve announced this week and the ones we announced earlier in the summer.”

Gerngross also confirmed Adimab was in contact with a number of other firms and expected further announcements in the near future.

Adimab launched its services in 2009 and, according to Gerngross, is currently averaging four partnerships a year from mostly Big Pharma companies. These include Merck, Roche, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Genentech who are all using Adimab to discover monoclonal and bispecific antibodies for specific targets.

Last month the firm began a new approach by licensing the technology to GSK and Biogen, supplying training and tech transfer to discover antibodies in-house.

Though financial details of both the Celgene and Innovent deal were not revealed, we were told Adimab receives both upfront and milestone payments throughout the process.

Adimab’s Technology

The company uses its fully human antibody library to identify Immunoglobulin G antibody isotopes (IgGs), which are the most abundant antibody isotype found in the circulation, specific to a particular target.

Unlike most other discovery platforms, Adimab’s uses a yeast based approach which filters out antibodies that have the tendency to aggregate, or suffer from issues of solubility or poor half-life, Gerngross said.

Yeast is East

The deal with Innovent was not the first Asian collaboration for Adimab as Japanese firm Kyowa Hakko Kirin is already on the books.

Though “our partners are typically concentrated in North America and Western Europe,”​ Gerngross said, “[we are] making in-roads in Japan and Asia, we are regularly there, and we expect that market to be an attractive growth area for us.”

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