HOUSTON & VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tachyon Therapeutics, Inc. (Tachyon), a research and development focused biotechnology company, and AbCellera (Nasdaq: ABCL), a technology company with a centralized operating system for next-generation antibody discovery, today announced a collaboration to facilitate the discovery and development of a therapeutic antibody targeting LEFTY1, a member of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily and validated extracellular drug target expressed in advanced cancers. Under the terms of the agreement, AbCellera is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on products that are derived from its antibody discovery platform. In addition, AbCellera has the option to invest in preclinical and clinical development in exchange for an increased share of product sales.
“At Tachyon, we are focused on innovation, precision, science, and speed to develop first-in-class therapeutics against significant new drug targets in cancer biology,” said Frank Perabo, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Tachyon. “AbCellera has consistently demonstrated these four qualities as they accelerate the discovery of first-in-class therapeutic antibodies for novel biology. We look forward to working with their team to target LEFTY1, a major signaling regulator of the TGF-β superfamily, and unlock a new pathway to treat advanced cancers.”
Members of the TGF-β superfamily control numerous cellular functions, including proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, adhesion, and migration. Because of their ubiquitous and regulatory roles in both normal and cancer cell biology, TGF-β superfamily members, such as LEFTY1 are highly sought after, yet challenging drug targets. Research led by Tachyon’s scientific founder, Michael F. Clarke, Ph.D., who was the first to identify and characterize cancer stem cells in solid tumors, revealed that LEFTY1 suppresses NODAL/SMAD2 and BMP7/SMAD5 pathways to promote long-term proliferation of normal and malignant mammary epithelial cells.1 As a secreted extracellular protein, LEFTY1 represents an important target to control SMAD-dependent signals that promote the long-term growth and self-renewal of cancer stem cells.
“Our collaboration with Tachyon represents an opportunity to expedite the translation of breakthrough research of a novel and significant cancer drug target into a first-in-class antibody therapeutic for patients with advanced cancers and limited treatment options,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO of AbCellera. “This collaboration exemplifies innovative deal structures that align our interest with our partners’ and provides AbCellera with optionality to deepen our participation in the success of the antibodies we discover. We are excited to partner with Tachyon to pursue a previously unexplored mechanism and develop therapies that we anticipate will impact cancer treatment.”
1. Zabala, et al., LEFTY1 Is a Dual-SMAD Inhibitor that Promotes Mammary Progenitor Growth and Tumorigenesis. Cell Stem Cell. 2020.
About Tachyon Therapeutics Inc.
Tachyon Therapeutics, Inc. is a R&D focused biotechnology company developing novel, first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of advanced cancers. Tachyon operates with a dedicated internal core development team and a virtual external network of expertise to achieve one goal – advance development of promising drug targets with speed and innovation, without compromising the quality or integrity of science. For more information, please visit www.tachyontx.com.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development. For more information, please visit www.abcellera.com.
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Source: AbCellera Biologics Inc.