CAMBRIDGE, England, and HOUSTON, January 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Kymab, the leading human monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical company, and The University of Texas MD Anderson's Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation (ORBIT) unit, today announced a strategic cancer drug discovery and development alliance.
The alliance seeks to discover and develop novel human therapeutic antibodies to treat a variety of cancers. Kymouse™ - Kymab's human antibody discovery platform - has unparalleled diversity as it yields antibodies with highly attractive drug-like properties, and is able to rapidly identify and enrich rare high-quality molecules that can be explored as novel therapeutics.
The agreement will utilize each partner's complementary skills, resources and capabilities to develop innovative new drugs for cancer. The collaboration will combine Kymab's industry-leading antibody platform, in-house discovery and development experience together with MD Anderson's novel target biology, clinical datasets, translational and clinical infrastructure to develop products to clinical proof of concept and ultimately for submission for FDA approval. The collaboration will focus on developing novel monoclonal antibodies as well as on identifying biomarkers for identification of responder populations. The agreement is for an initial period of five years.
David Chiswell, Chairman and CEO of Kymab, said: "Together, Kymab and MD Anderson bring power and skills to a partnership committed to efficiency and speed in delivering novel immunotherapies through the use of world-class science. Immuno-oncology is an exceptionally promising field of research and a key focus for Kymab."
Carlo Toniatti, MD, PhD, Executive Director of ORBIT said: "These are exciting times for the development of monoclonal antibodies for cancer immunotherapy. This alliance presents a great opportunity to leverage our translational and clinical expertise, and develop innovative antibody drugs vital to helping patients in their fight against cancer."
Notes to Editors
Kymab is a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibody drugs using its proprietary Kymouse antibody platform.
Kymouse has been designed to maximise the diversity of human antibodies produced in response to immunisation with antigens. Selecting from a broad diversity of fully human antibodies assures the highest probability of finding that rare drug candidate with best-in-class characteristics. The Kymouse naturally matures these molecules to highly potent drugs obviating the need for further time-consuming modifications. Kymab is using the platform for its internal drug discovery programmes and in partnership with pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 2009, Kymab has raised over US$120m of equity financing which includes $90m Series B financing. It has an experienced management team with a successful track record in drug discovery and development and has numerous therapeutic antibody discovery programmes in immune-oncology, auto-immunity and other areas.
About MD Anderson Cancer Center and ORBIT
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution's sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No.1 for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospital's" survey. It has ranked as one of the nation's top two hospitals since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first for 11 of the past 14 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation) platform is a novel centralized organization within MD Anderson, Houston, Texas, with the mission of making MD Anderson a recognized leader in the discovery and development of novel monoclonal antibodies. The ORBIT team focuses on combining scientific excellence with industry standard and is committed to accelerate and execute the translation of novel discoveries into clinically relevant anti-cancer mAbs. ORBIT's scientific directors are Jeffrey J. Molldrem, M.D., professor of the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and Michael Curran, Ph.D., professor of the Department of Immunology.
Immuno-oncology is a new area of medicine that harnesses the body's own immune system to fight cancer. This new field is anticipated to tackle cancers of high unmet needs that are marked by poor outcomes. Although the number of immunotherapeutics currently available is low, the clinical impact for this drug class is expected to be considerable.
Kymab, Kymouse, are trademarks of Kymab Limited.
For further information contact:
David Chiswell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Anne Hyland, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44-1223-833301, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +1-713-745-1898, Email: Rlgilmore1@mdanderson.org
Mary Clark, Supriya Mathur and Hollie Vile
Tel: +44-20-3440-5653, Email: email@example.com