NEW YORK – Harbour BioMed earlier this week announced a global license agreement with AstraZeneca for the development of its Claudin18.2- and CD3-targeted bispecific antibody HBM7022.
Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Harbour BioMed $25 million upfront. Harbour BioMed will also be eligible to receive up to $325 million in potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, along with tiered royalties on net sales. AstraZeneca will take over all research, development, registration, manufacturing, and commercialization of HBM7022.
HBM7022 is a T-cell engager therapy still in preclinical development. In preclinical studies, the drug has shown activity in wild-type and mutated Claudin18.2-positive gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer. The drug targets both tumor cells and T cells by binding to tumor-associated antigen Claudin18.2 on tumor cells and CD3 on T cells.
"This molecule is designed to harness the body's immune system T-cell response, with potential for strong efficacy across solid tumors including gastric and pancreatic cancers, both of which comprise large populations of patients with major unmet medical need," Susan Galbraith, executive VP for oncology R&D at AstraZeneca, said in a statement.
In March, Innovent dosed the first patient in a trial of its Claudin18.2- and CD3-targeted bispecific antibody, IBI389, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Other players in the Claudin18.2 space include Amgen, which is studying AMG-910 in a Phase I trial in CLDN18.2-positive gastric cancers, and Astellas, which is studying zolbetuximab in a Phase III study of CLDN18.2-positive gastric cancers. Last year, Chinese biotherapeutics company Transcenta also began a Phase I study of TST001 in Claudin18.2-positive gastric cancer.