AbbVie and CytomX Therapeutics announce drug development alliance

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AbbVie has announced a new collaboration with CytomX Therapeutics, focusing on the development of new cancer therapies.

The companies have agreed to co-develop and co-commercialise Probody drug conjugates against CD71, a receptor that is highly expressed in a number of solid and haematologic cancers.

“AbbVie and CytomX Therapeutics are allying to develop Probody drug conjugates against a number of cancer targets.“

Probody therapeutics are designed to take advantage of specific conditions within cancerous cells to enhance the tumour-targeting features of an antibody, while also reducing drug activity in healthy tissues.

CytomX and AbbVie will co-develop a candidate against CD71, with CytomX leading preclinical and early clinical development. AbbVie will take responsibility for later development and commercialisation activities, with costs shared between the two companies.

Under the terms of the deal, CytomX will receive an upfront payment of $30 million (20.57 million pounds) and is eligible to receive up to $470 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones. AbbVie also receives exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise Probody drug conjugates against up to two additional targets.

Dr Steve Davidsen, vice-president for oncology drug discovery at AbbVie, said: "This collaboration will enable us to expand our innovative pipeline in antibody drug conjugates and leverage our strength in that area to previously unexplored targets."

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