King's College London signs licence agreement with UCB in immunology and type 1 diabetes

King's College London announced that it has entered an exclusive licence agreement with UCB that grants the company the rights to develop a peptide-based immunotherapy programme for type 1 diabetes.  This Phase-1 ready programme emerges from technology developed by Mark Peakman, Professor of Clinical Immunology at King's, with funding from the Wellcome Trust. The aim of the King's research is to halt progression of disease in individuals who are newly diagnosed or at risk of developing type 1 diabetes. UCB hopes to explore the potential of this platform in other immunological diseases.
Phase 1 work will be led by Professor Peakman and will take place in the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, and UCB will lead the subsequent development phases.  Under the terms of this multi-year agreement, King's College London will receive an upfront payment, clinical development milestone payments and royalties on future products. In parallel with the clinical development, UCB will also financially support research within Professor Peakman's group to gain further understanding of this immunotherapy platform.
"We look forward to working with King's College London as part of our continued strategy to innovate in drug discovery, converting scientific discovery into health improvements in areas of high patient need," commented Ismail Kola, President UCB New Medicines. "The collaboration with King's College London is another example of UCB's strategies at work as we continue to further extend our super-network and partner with some of the greatest academic minds to bring superior value to patients." 
Professor Mark Peakman from the Division of Immunology, Infection & Inflammatory Disease at King's College London, said: "This is a very exciting moment, emerging from over a decade of basic science discovery and translational research in my laboratory. The partnership with UCB provides a very strong platform for us to progress this new therapy into full clinical development for the benefit of patients with type 1 diabetes as well as those at high risk of developing the disease."