Ferring Pharmaceuticals and IMAB today announced that they have signed a licensing agreement which grants IMAB exclusive rights to olamkicept (pINN) in Asia.
Olamkicept is a new recombinant protein inhibitor of the interleukin-6 pathway. Interleukin-6 is associated with numerous inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis.
The agreement provides IMAB with a Phase 2 ready asset with differentiated product profile. Under the terms of the arrangement, IMAB will fund further product development in exchange for an exclusive license in Asia with an option for worldwide use, with the goal of realizing the potential of olamkicept as a biomarker-guided and differentiated interleukin-6 blocker to treat autoimmune disease.
“We are very pleased to acquire the opportunity to further advance olamkicept and build on Ferring’s encouraging Phase 1 results in volunteers and in patients,” said Jingwu Zang, President and CEO of IMAB. “This agreement will accelerate IMAB’s mission to develop impactful therapies for autoimmune disease.”
“IMAB has a strong network of researchers and physicians in the autoimmune area in China and a willingness to develop our drug further in Asia and around the world,” said Alan Harris, Senior Vice President, R&D, Ferring Pharmaceuticals. “We are pleased to partner with IMAB in progressing our drug in this important therapeutic area with many unmet medical needs.”
Olamkicept (pINN) is a recombinant Interleukin-6 (IL-6) soluble receptor antagonist based on an innovation by the Kiel-based German biotech company Conaris. IL-6 is a key cytokine in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Olamkicept is a selective inhibitor of the IL-6 inflammatory pathway expected to be efficacious in disease treatment without affecting the beneficial effects of IL-6 for instance in the acute immune response to infection. The safety of olamkicept has been demonstrated in a phase 1 program.
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Headquartered in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and orthopaedics. Ferring has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries. To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit www.ferring.com.
I-MAB is a Shanghai-based biotech company (天境生物) founded by world-class immunologists in China. It specializes in the discovery and development of innovative biologics in the therapeutic areas of immune-oncology and autoimmune disease for global markets with a focus on China. The company’s current innovative pipeline includes 5 monoclonal antibodies at the preclinical stage and several clinical assets, such as olamkicept, in partnership with global pharma and biotech companies. I-MAB’s ongoing discovery is focused on developing novel bi-functional and bi-specific antibodies.
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