AbbVie and Anima Biotech Partner on Discovery and Development of mRNA Biology Modulators

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The collaboration between AbbVie and Anima Biotech will combine Anima's mRNA Lightning technology platform with AbbVie's extensive expertise in oncology and immunology.

AbbVie and US-based Anima Biotech (Anima) have formed a collaboration to discover and develop messenger RNA (mRNA) biology modulators for three targets across oncology and immunology. In the collaboration, Anima will use its mRNA Lightning technology platform to discover novel mRNA biology modulators against the collaboration targets. The company will provide AbbVie exclusive rights to license and further develop and commercialize these programs, according to a Jan. 10, 2023 company press release.

Under the agreement, Anima receives $42 million in an upfront payment and may be eligible to receive up to $540 million in option fees and R&D milestones in the aggregate across the three targets. The company will also have the potential to receive further commercial milestones and tiered royalties on net sales. AbbVie has an option to expand the collaboration with up to three additional targets under the same terms as the initial collaboration, which may increase the potential value of the collaboration.

"This collaboration will give AbbVie access to Anima's leading technology platform and deep expertise in mRNA biology and will help further strengthen AbbVie's [capabilities] in discovering and developing drugs to make a difference in patient[s’] lives," said Jonathon Sedgwick, vice-president and global head of discovery research, AbbVie, in the press release. "Modulating mRNA biology with small molecules is a new approach and has the potential to address 'undruggable' targets with implications across multiple therapy areas."

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"Anima's differentiated approach in the field of small-molecule mRNA drugs combines phenotypic screening with AI [artificial intelligence]-driven elucidation of the mechanisms of action. The power of our mRNA Lightning platform is validated by our multiple partnerships and a growing internal pipeline," said Yochi Slonim, co-founder and chief executive officer, Anima, in the release.

Source: AbbVie