WuXi Biologics, Almirall Partner to Develop Bispecific Antibodies for Skin Diseases

January 9, 2020

Under the agreement, Almirall will leverage WuXi Biologics’ proprietary WuXiBody platform to develop bispecific antibodies for dermatological diseases.

On Jan. 9, 2020, WuXi Biologics and Almirall, a skin-health focused pharmaceutical company, announced that they have signed a strategic collaboration agreement that gives Almirall access to WuXi Biologics’ proprietary antibody platforms, including WuXiBody, to develop bispecific antibodies for dermatological diseases.

Under their agreement, WuXi Biologics will receive an upfront payment as well as development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for each bispecific antibody generated from this platform. The company will also be entitled to royalties based on global sales generated by these projects. Almirall will develop the therapeutics under license and will maintain ownership for medical use of the resulting components.

WuXiBody is a versatile bispecific platform that offers flexible valency to fit target biology, thus making it possible to discover multiple novel bispecific antibodies. It can effectively break through the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls barriers in the development of many bispecific antibodies through high expression yield, high stability, good solubility, and easy purification to homogeneity. The platform can also expedite the development process by six to 18 months and significantly reduce manufacturing cost, which is a limitation still faced by many other current bispecific platforms.

The WuXiBody platform enables almost any monoclonal antibody sequence pairs to be assembled into bispecific constructs, which are expected to have low immunogenicity risk and longer in-vivo half-life. The platform also has a unique structural flexibility, according to WuXi Biologics, which makes it convenient to build various formats with different combination of valencies (1+1, 1+2, 2+2) to meet the requirements of different target biologies.

“This agreement is a big step forward for us in our objective of becoming a leader in medical dermatology. With WuXi Biologics' know-how in biologic technologies and Almirall's expertise in [d]ermatology, we will be able to identify bispecific antibodies as effective next-generation therapies for helping patients suffering from dermatological disorders,” said Bhushan Hardas, MD, chief scientific officer of Almirall, in a company press release.

“We are delighted to establish this collaboration with Almirall, the 12th global partnership since we launched this exciting platform in August 2018. This represents one further step in validating the power and versatile applications of WuXiBody in multiple therapeutic areas, underlining our leadership in next-generation biologic technologies and demonstrating our contributions to enable global partners to develop more new treatments for patients worldwide. WuXi Biologics is committed to developing globally leading technologies to accelerate and transform biologics discovery, development, and manufacturing,” added Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics, in the press release.

Source: WuXi Biologics and Almirall