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2022-11-17| Partnerships

Regeneron Pays CytomX $2 Billion Biobucks to Develop Bispecific Cancer Therapies Together

by Reed Slater
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In its fifth major development partnership to date, CytomX will receive $30 million upfront from Regeneron to develop conditionally-activated investigational bispecific cancer therapies. The influx of cash will benefit CytomX, which laid off about 40% of its staff in June to extend its financial runway.

Leveraging Proprietary Platforms to Develop Unique Therapies

As part of the deal, CytomX will lend its Probody therapeutic platform, while Regeneron will add its Veloci-Bi bispecific antibody platform to the collaboration. CytomX’s Probody platform exploits the tumor microenvironment, localizing treatment in the tumor and minimizing activity in healthy tissue.

Together, the two hope to develop conditionally-activated investigational bispecific cancer therapies activated by proteases in the tumor microenvironment. Regeneron said the technology has the potential to reduce off-target effects found in next-generation T-cell engaging therapies and widen the therapeutic window, opening up the door to tumor types historically difficult to treat. 

John Lin, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Immuno-oncology and Head of Bispecifics at Regeneron, said, “This collaboration will enable Regeneron and CytomX to combine our collective oncology expertise with two premier platforms – Probody and Veloci-Bi – to develop novel immunotherapies and research their potential to transform patient lives.”

In addition to the $30 million upfront, CytomX is eligible to receive up to $2 billion contingent upon preclinical, clinical, and commercial milestones. If any products make it to market, CytomX could also receive tiered global net sales royalties. 

Related Article: Moderna To Collaborate With Harbour BioMed On Nucleic Acid-Based Cancer Therapies

A Breath of Fresh Air for CytomX

Along with the substantial layoff, CytomX is reorganizing its pipeline, stopping development on one candidate, and leaving room for others to fill the void. The breast cancer-targeting drug the company abandoned was in Phase 2 clinical trials when CytomX decided it would not be worth it to continue developing the product alone. The company said it would consider taking the candidate on again if a suitable partner decided to join the effort. 

Now, all of the candidates in clinical trials that CytomX has its name on are partnered therapies. Still, CytomX is partnered with some of the best in the business, like Abbvie, Astellas, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Amgen. 

The new partnership with Regeneron is a big boost for the company, which will increase cash flow and add an interesting new project to its portfolio. The conditionally-activated investigational bispecific cancer therapies are an exciting prospect in immuno-oncology worth following. 

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