AbbVie, CytomX Therapeutics Form $500 Million Probody Drug Conjugate Pact
AbbVie and CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company, have formed a collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize Probody Drug Conjugates against CD71, also known as transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1). CD71 is highly expressed in a number of solid and hematologic cancers and has attractive molecular properties for efficient delivery of cytotoxic payloads to tumor cells.
Under the terms of the agreement, CytomX and AbbVie will co-develop a Probody drug conjugate against CD71, with CytomX leading pre-clinical and early clinical development. AbbVie will lead later development and commercialization, with global late-stage development costs shared between the two companies. CytomX will receive an upfront payment of $30 million and is eligible to receive up to $470 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones, pending the achievement of pre-determined outcomes. AbbVie will lead global commercial activities with CytomX eligible to receive a profit share in the US and tiered double-digit royalties on net product sales outside of the US. CytomX retains an option to co-promote in the US.
AbbVie also receives exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Probody drug conjugates against up to two additional, undisclosed targets. Should AbbVie ultimately pursue these targets, CytomX is eligible to receive additional milestone and royalty payments per target on any resulting products.
Probody therapeutics are designed to remain inactive until they are activated by proteases in the tumor microenvironment. As a result, Probody therapeutics bind selectively to tumors and avoid binding to healthy tissue, to minimize toxicity and potentially create safer, more effective therapies. CytomX has generated preclinical data that demonstrates that Probody drug conjugates can safely and effectively target tumor antigens, such as CD71, that are not addressable by conventional antibody-drug conjugates.