Astellas and GO Therapeutics Enter into Immuno-Oncology Research and License Agreement Worth Up to $783 Million

BP Elements, BioPharm International's BP Elements, June 2022, Volume 1, Issue 6

Astellas and GO Therapeutics will work together to develop novel antibodies for immuno-oncology.

Astellas Pharma and GO Therapeutics announced that Xyphos Biosciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas, and GO have entered into a strategic research collaboration and license agreement to develop novel immuno-oncology therapeutics. Xyphos is paying $20.5 million in upfront cash, but milestone and contingency payments could increase the total to as much as $783 million.

According to an Astellas press release from June 1, 2022, the two companies will collaborate exclusively to identify antibodies with high affinity to two different glycoprotein targets for use in a range of therapeutic modalities. GO will work toward discovering high-affinity antibodies against the two targets, while Astellas will be responsible for research activities, clinical development, and commercialization of any derived therapeutics.

“We are excited to collaborate with Astellas to develop a new class of immuno-oncology therapeutics," said Constantine Theodoropulos, co-founder and CEO, GO Therapeutics, in the press release. “The combination of GO’s targets and antibodies and Astellas’ ACCEL [advanced cellular control through engineered ligands] 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.”

"At Astellas, we have positioned immuno-oncology as one of the primary focuses of our R&D strategy,” said Naoki Okamura, chief strategy office, Astellas, in the press release. “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.”

Source: Astellas