— ImaginAb acquires exclusive worldwide licence for 5T4-based imaging diagnostic —
Oxford, UK and Los Angeles, CA – 29 November 2012: Oxford BioMedica (“Oxford BioMedica” or “the Company”) (LSE: OXB), the leading gene-based biopharmaceutical company, today announces that ImaginAb, Inc. (“ImaginAb”), a biotechnology company specialising in the development of engineered antibody fragments for diagnostic imaging and novel therapeutic applications, has exercised its option to acquire an exclusive worldwide licence for commercialisation of an in vivo 5T4-based imaging diagnostic.
Following the initiation of the companies’ research collaboration in 2011, ImaginAb has successfully re-engineered Oxford BioMedica’s anti-5T4 antibody into a smaller protein format with kinetics suitable for in vivo diagnostic imaging of tumours expressing the 5T4 antigen. 5T4 represents an important target for therapeutics and diagnostics in oncology given its restricted expression in normal tissues and its high prevalence on both primary and metastatic tumours. ImaginAb is preparing to initiate clinical development of the 5T4 in vivo diagnostic in 2013.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, said: “Targeted molecular imaging for the diagnosis and staging of cancer holds significant promise in the era of personalised medicine, and we are pleased that our anti-5T4 technology has demonstrated such clear potential for cancer diagnostic imaging.”
Dr Christian Behrenbruch, Chief Executive Officer of ImaginAb, said: “5T4 is an important target in oncology that has considerable diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Our highly productive collaboration with Oxford BioMedica has yielded a very promising imaging agent that is a significant addition to ImaginAb’s best-in-class oncology diagnostic portfolio.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Oxford BioMedica will receive an upfront option exercise payment and could receive proceeds up to a total of US$4 million in initiation and development milestone payments, in addition to royalties on product sales, subject to the achievement of certain programme objectives.