AnaptysBio's chief scientific officer Moyle heads for the exit

Moyle joined the company in 2016 from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma.

The chief scientific officer of antibody specialist AnaptysBio, Matthew Moyle, has tendered his resignation just over a year after joining the company.

The famously tight-lipped 2013 Fierce 15 company—which went public at the end of January, raising $80 million—is staying true to form and not giving anything away about the reasons for Moyle's departure, merely saying in an SEC filing that it was "effective immediately."

A 25-year pharma veteran with extensive experience in biologic drug discovery and development, Moyle joined AnaptysBio from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma where he was vice president of biotherapeutics, having previously held senior positions at Theraclone, Tanox and Amgen, among others.

He leaves at a pivotal time for San Diego-based AnaptysBio, which has made a name for itself by signing up a raft of pharma partners, including deals with Celgene and Tesaro that according to analysts at Stifel could generate future milestones of more than $1.2 billion plus royalties. 

The biotech has also just advanced its lead in-house drug, the anti-interleukin-33 antibody ANB020, into phase 2 testing, eyeing atopic dermatitis, peanut allergy and eosinophilic asthma as potential indications. A second in-house candidate, ANB019, which targets the IL-36 receptor and is in development for two rare forms of psoriasis, started phase 1 testing in April. 

The company said it was sitting on almost $128 million in cash at the end of March, enough to fund its R&D activities through the end of 2018.

The externally partnered programs also seem to be proceeding at a healthy lick. Tesaro has rights to antibodies that target TIM-3 and LAG-3 as well as a checkpoint program for PD-1, plus dual reactive antibody candidates that target the combo targets of PD-1/LAG-3 and PD-1/TIM-3. 

In April, the company started a registration program for anti-PD-1 antibody TSR-042, prompting a $3 million milestone to AnaptysBio, and the following month filed for FDA approval to start trials of anti-LAG-3 antibody TSR-033, queuing up a $4 million payment.

Celgene, meanwhile, is pushing two AnaptysBio-generated anti-inflammatory antibody programs forwarded, and has started a phase 1 trial of CC-90006, a PD-1 agonist antibody with potential in psoriasis.