Baxalta, Astellas Partner in New Company and Advance First Project
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Baxalta Incorporated, Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC (VPD), and Astellas Pharma Inc. report that Thunderbolt, Inc., a company established by Vitesse Biologics, acquired all rights to the Astellas BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist program through an asset purchase agreement. The BAFF/APRIL dual antagonists will be developed for B cell disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus.

Thunderbolt is the first company established by Vitesse Biologics, a collaboration model formed by Baxalta, the Mayo Clinic, and VPD focused on the development of antibody and protein-based therapeutics in the areas of immunology, hematology, and oncology. Baxalta, the Mayo Clinic, VPD and Astellas are all shareholders in Thunderbolt.

Baxalta, the Mayo Clinic, and VPD will each contribute to the development costs associated with the program. Through Vitesse, Baxalta will provide global commercialization, antibody and protein development and manufacturing capabilities. Through the Office of Translation to Practice, the Mayo Clinic clinicians and researchers advise on selection of preclinical candidates, disease indications, and the design and conduct of Phase I clinical trials. VPD will be responsible for target identification, selection of early-stage drug candidates and will lead the design and execution of pre-clinical testing and advise the early clinical protocols.

Source: Baxalta

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