Sciences Discover Novel Therapeutic Antibodies In Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Oxford Genome Sciences has entered into a strategic collaboration with Amgen to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer. This new collaboration will enable OGeS to further strengthen its pipeline of fully human therapeutic antibodies (mAbs) in cancer based on the target discovery capabilities of its unique OGAP database.

Under the collaboration, OGeS and Amgen will jointly discover novel antibodies for the treatment of cancer. The companies will generate fully human antibodies using Amgen's XenoMouse technology, which was acquired through its acquisition of Abgenix. These antibodies will be raised against the novel druggable targets that OGeS has identified through its unique Oxford Genome Anatomy Project (OGAP) database. OGAP has been developed into the world's largest cancer protein database, to discover novel clinically relevant drug targets and diagnostics.

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Today's agreement covers up to six oncology programmes. Amgen will have the right to select up to three programmes, while OGeS will retain rights to the remainder. Once Amgen has produced the initial antibody leads, OgeS will carry out the initial pre-clinical assessment of each antibody programme.

Dr Christian Rohlff, CEO of OGeS, commented: "I am very happy to be collaborating with Amgen in our effort to discover and develop novel fully human antibodies for the treatment of cancer. I am confident that by using our complementary expertise we will be able to develop a promising and valuable pipeline of antibodies. This significant new deal, together with our existing Medarex collaboration, further underpins OGeS' transition from a target discovery to a product development company and is an important step in our ambition to become a key player in the field of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer."

Amgen's Senior Vice President and Head of Research, Dave Lacey, M.D., said: "We are pleased to enter into this collaboration that takes advantage of Amgen's expertise in monoclonal antibody technology and the database that Oxford Genome Sciences has established."

OGeS' new collaboration with Amgen follows a previous agreement that the company signed with Medarex and Biosite (see press release of 18 September 2007). OGeS now has access to the two leading technologies that are used to generate fully human monoclonal antibodies as it works to develop its own product pipeline of cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.

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