Astellas and GO Therapeutics Enter into Strategic Research and License Agreement to Develop Novel Antibodies for Immuno-Oncology
Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”) and GO Therapeutics, Inc. (Co-Founder and CEO: Constantine Theodoropulos, “GO”) today announced that Xyphos Biosciences, Inc., (a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas, “Xyphos”) and GO have entered into a strategic research collaboration and license agreement to develop novel Immuno-Oncology therapeutics.
GO is applying new advances in glycoproteomics to develop antibody-based cancer therapeutics that specifically target cancer cells. Xyphos holds a novel and proprietary ACCELTM technology platform that uses its convertibleCAR® (convertible Chimeric Antigen Receptor) on immune cells.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will collaborate exclusively to identify novel antibodies with high affinity to two different glycoprotein targets and apply these antibodies to a range of therapeutic modalities. GO will lead the collaboration to discover high-affinity antibodies against the two targets, and Astellas will be responsible for research activities, clinical development and commercialization of the therapeutics derived from the antibodies provided by GO.
Under the terms of the agreement, Xyphos will pay GO Therapeutics US$20.5 million in upfront cash. Milestone and contingency payments could total up to another US$763 million.
“We are excited to collaborate with Astellas to develop a new class of Immuno-Oncology therapeutics,” said Constantine Theodoropulos, co-founder and CEO of GO Therapeutics. “The combination of GO’s targets and antibodies and Astellas’ ACCEL technology promises to create a new generation of cancer treatments that have a greater therapeutic index. This will enable oncologists to increase the efficacy of antibody-based immunotherapies for solid tumors with less damage to healthy tissues.”
Naoki Okamura, Chief Strategy Officer at Astellas said, “At Astellas, we have positioned Immuno-Oncology as one of the Primary Focuses of our R&D strategy. We believe that this collaboration will bring synergies between the two companies’ cutting-edge research, and will ultimately lead to the development of new therapeutics for patients with great unmet medical needs.”