Novartis Acquires Admune: Signs Pacts in Immunotherapies
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Novartis is broadening its portfolio of cancer immunotherapies with the acquisition of Admune Therapeutics and licensing agreements with Palobiofarma and XOMA Corporation. The acquisition of Admune adds an IL-15 agonist program currently in Phase I clinical trials for metastatic cancer. The licensing agreement with Palobiofarma gives Novartis development and commercialization rights to PBF-509, an adenosine receptor antagonist currently in Phase I clinical trials for non-small cell lung cancer. The agreement with XOMA gives Novartis development and commercialization rights to XOMA’s TGF-beta antibody programs. All three programs will be explored as monotherapies and in combination with therapies in Novartis’ immuno-oncology and targeted therapy portfolios.

With four candidates currently in clinical trials and five more agents expected to enter the clinic by the end of 2016, Novartis has a portfolio of programs focused on stimulating the body’s immune system to combat cancers that includes novel checkpoint inhibitors, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART) technology, myeloid cell targeting agents, and STING agonists. Currently Novartis’ myeloid cell targeting program (MCS-110) and checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1 (PDR001), LAG-3 (LAG525), are in Phase I clinical trials. The CART program (CTL019) is in Phase II clinical trials. The anti-TIM-3 program (MGB453) is expected to enter the clinic by the end of 2015 and a STING agonist (MIW815), through collaboration with Aduro Biotech, and GITR agonist are progressing toward first-in-human clinical trials in 2016.

Source: Novartis

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