AbbVie wraps up $64M oncology, immunology deal with Tentarix

AbbVie is wrapping its tentacles around a few more oncology and immunology candidates thanks to a new $64 million deal with Tentarix Biotherapeutics.

The announcement was low on detail, but the two have inked a multiyear collaboration to discover and develop biologics in the two disease areas using the biotech’s Tentacles platform. The company’s tech designs biologics that activate immune cells to modulate disease pathways while avoiding safety concerns typically associated with less specific immune cell targeting.

Tentarix will receive $64 million in upfront option payments for two programs under the deal, according to a Thursday release. In return, AbbVie scores an exclusive option to acquire the programs after candidate nomination for an undisclosed payment.

This seems to be the deal sweet spot for Tentarix, which signed a similarly sized and frankly, nearly identical, partnership with Gilead Sciences in August 2023. The two companies agreed to work on therapies for oncology and inflammatory diseases, with $66 million upfront paid by Gilead.

Tentarix conducted a $35 million series B financing in September 2023 to raise funds for the Tentacles platform. Gilead participated in the raise, which was led by Amplitude Ventures with founding investors Versant Ventures and Samsara BioCapital also pitching in.

The raise brought Tentarix’s total capital raise to $132 million including upfront partnership payments at that time.

AbbVie, meanwhile, is in a period of great change, as long-time CEO Richard Gonzalez prepares to pass the helm over to President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Michael. The incoming chief executive will be in charge of charting a course post-Humira, after the patent expired on that megablockbuster.