Daiichi does I/O research deal with Portland upstart

Portland skyline

Daiichi Sankyo has partnered with startup AgonOx to develop novel drugs against an undisclosed immuno-oncology target. The pair is slated to work together on the preclinical development, and then after that the Japanese biopharma has the option to license the program for worldwide development and commercialization.

This is the Portland, OR-based company’s second major biopharma deal. It has another that dates back to 2011 with AstraZeneca’s ($AZN) MedImmune arm. That deal is to develop a tumor-specific T-cell immunity stimulator based on AgonOx’s OX40 agonist programs.

In July, the British biopharma said that of its trio of OX40 assets in preclinical development it would advance one, monoclonal antibody MEDI5062. It had previously advanced OX40 agonist MEDI6383 in Phase I testing on its own as well as in combination with its anti-PD-L1 candidate durvalumab, but both were dropped.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

AgonOx offers the Japanese biopharma expertise in validating the expression and function of immuno-oncology targets. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The effort is part of the Daiichi Sankyo Cancer Enterprise, the company’s oncology pipeline that’s focused on more than 20 small molecule and monoclonal antibodies to treat both solid and hematological cancers.

"While this collaboration will help strengthen our immuno-oncology capabilities, it also aligns with our overall mission of discovering and delivering science that can change the standard of care for patients with cancer,” said Dr. Antoine Yver, VP and Global Head of Oncology R&D at Daiichi Sankyo, in a statement.

Suggested Articles

By employing heart rate signals, physical activity and sleep quality, common Fitbit trackers may be able to predict the spread of the flu.

Nanox has raised $26 million to help fuel the development and commercialization of its Star Trek-inspired digital X-ray bed.

Oncology is clearly a major medical and societal issue, but one that sees too much focus from biopharmas at the expense of other killers.