Boehringer taps Adimab for antibody discovery project

Boehringer will pay fees if it takes up its option to license antibodies discovered by Adimab.   (Boehringer Ingelheim)

Boehringer Ingelheim has enlisted the help of Adimab for a drug discovery project. The agreement tasks Adimab with turning its yeast-based antibody discovery platform against multiple targets picked out by Boehringer.

Adimab stands to pocket income related to two aspects of the work. Boehringer has made an upfront payment and committed to research fees and delivery milestones for the right to assess the use of antibody panels resulting from the collaboration in therapeutic products. And it will pay fees, clinical milestones and royalties if it takes up its option to license antibodies discovered by Adimab.  

The project is underpinned by the yeast-based discovery and optimization platform that has landed Adimab deals with a who’s who of drug developers, including Gilead, Merck, Novartis and Pfizer.

Adimab’s platform uses yeast engineered to present or secrete immunoglobulin G molecules. This approach is designed to cut the time it takes to generate antibodies against a target while realizing other benefits. 

News of the Boehringer deal gave Adimab a chance to talk up the benefits of its yeast-based approach over mice-based methods.  

“With increasing demands on selectivity, developability, affinity and epitopic diversity, mice are often not up to the task,” Adimab CEO Tillman Gerngross, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Not only are we able to overcome many of those limitations but our engineering capabilities allow us to optimize any lead to become a best-in-class differentiated molecule.”