Xencor - 2005 Fierce 15 revisited

Monrovia, CA
Founded: 1997

Bottom line: Still inking new deals as it pursues clinical trial work.

What we said: Xencor has reengineered proteins to make them more effective as treatments. The beauty of their work is that it focuses on the constant region of an antibody, redesigning a segment that helps it bind more effectively to a target and make it more potent. And it's tremendously versatile. Their modular designs can work on a host of different therapies, which has allowed Xencor to sign up a who's who of research collaborators: Genentech, Roche and Lilly, to name a few. It also provides cash to fund operations while Xencor develops its own drug candidates, which are in preclinical development. Xencor's lead candidate should hit the clinic in late 2006, with another drug following six to seven months later. CEO Bassil Dahayit tells FierceBiotech that the company has just signed its fifth collaboration and expects a couple of more deals by the end of the year. Its lead program was bound for the clinic.

What happened: In late 2007 Xencor had brought its Series E to $60 million. Since then, its lead antibody program, XmAb 2513, has been ushered into the clinic with five more preclinical programs following behind it. Back in June Xencor reported positive preliminary Phase I data at ASCO, adding that researchers saw "evidence of anti-tumor activity with stable disease or better observed as best response in more than half of the patients evaluable for efficacy." New collaborations have been struck with Merck, Pfizer and CSL, just this year. And earlier the company inked deals with Boehringer Ingelheim and Human Genome Sciences, giving it a full range of top-flight developers to work with.

Xencor - 2005 Fierce 15 revisited