Five Prime Therapeutics licenses out inflammatory disease drug to UCB

The Belgium biopharma UCB set up a discovery collaboration with Five Prime back in 2013. (fdecomite/Wikimedia Commons)

Immuno-oncology biotech Five Prime has outlicensed a medication from its protein discovery platform exclusively to Belgium biopharma UCB.

Unfortunately, there is little else to say, as Five Prime and UCB are keeping mum on the financial details and the target, saying merely that it is for an “undisclosed drug target for inflammatory diseases.”

The target came out of the collaboration penned between the two five years ago. “Five Prime conducted five customized cell-based and in vivo screens of its protein libraries under the collaboration,” it said in a brief update.

“In the course of screening its protein libraries in the collaboration, Five Prime identified proteins that may be potential drug targets or drug candidates for inflammatory diseases.”

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Under the original deal, Five Prime can, if all goes well, get future development, regulatory and sales-based milestones payments, as well as potential royalties on net sales, for approvals coming out of the collaboration. Five Prime got a $16 million upfront fee from the pact when signed in 2013.

Last summer, the company jettisoned a $460 million-plus alliance with InhibRx, saying it made the move to maintain a tight focus on priority programs that it can bring forward quickly. It also recently gained a new CEO, with ex-chief operating officer Aron Knickerbocker taking the reins this year, and hiring Genentech vet Bryan Irving, Ph.D., as its SVP of research last fall.

The biotech is working on a number targets, including several immuno-oncology programs from its labs, namely FPA150, and anti-B7-H4 drug in development for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers and FPT155, which combines CTLA4 and PD-L1 inhibition with CD28 stimulation. Both are still in early testing.

Last month, UCB licensed a small molecule program for cognitive disorders to its spinout Syndesi Therapeutics, which launched with a €17 million ($20.9 million) investment from the likes of V-Bio Ventures and the venture arms of Novo Nordisk and Johnson & Johnson.