Xencor extends collaboration with Selexis to advance bispecific antibody programs

handshake / shaking hands
Xencor gains license to use Selexis-generated cell lines for the development, manufacture and commercial sale of XmAb antibody drug candidates. (Image: daizuoxin/Getty Images)

Monoclonal antibodies developer Xencor has extended a strategic alliance formed in 2016 with Selexis with four commercial license agreements.

Under these agreements, Xencor gains nonexclusive license to use Selexis-generated cell lines for the development, manufacture and commercial sale of XmAb antibody drug candidates, Yemi Onakunle, Ph.D., Selexis VP of licensing and business development, told FierceCRO.

In November 2016, the two companies entered a strategic agreement where Selexis provides various cell line-related services that include personnel, laboratory equipment, laboratory space and access to its SUREtechnology Platform. Scientists from both companies collaborate on selected multispecific antibody gene expression and cell line development programs.

Each cell line derived from this partnership then becomes subject of a license agreement when the expressed proteins are progressed to IND and move into clinical studies, and Selexis gets an upfront fee with potential milestones and royalties on sales under each license, said Onakunle.

“Our relationship with Selexis has been very successful to date, so the decision to continue our work with the team was simple. Overall, the use of Selexis’ technologies and services significantly reduces the time, effort, and costs associated with developing high-performance cell lines,” said Xencor CEO Edgardo Baracchini, Ph.D., in a statement.

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Business relationship between the two began in 2011. The initial proof-of-concept study demonstrated that Selexis’ technology can rapidly develop cell lines expressing multispecific antibodies based on Xencor’s XmAb platform. At least six candidates developed so far under the partnership has an IND filing or already in clinical development stages, said Onakunle.

Xencor’s XmAb antibody engineering platform alters the Fc region of antibodies to change their performance or mechanisms of action. Currently, 12 candidates developed with the technology are in clinical development internally or with partners, including Novartis, Amgen, Janssen, Alexion, Boehringer Ingelheim and MorphoSys, according to Xencor.

SUREtechnology Platform could generate stable cell lines in about three months at productivity levels of 1-7 g/L for mAbs, Selexis says on its website. The platform has helped nearly 100 clinical drug programs, and has been used by more than 100 global partners, according to the company.

Following Selexis’ acquisition by JSR Corporation last year, Takeda also signed a commercial license agreement to use the company’s high-performance research cell banks to develop recombinant fusion proteins.