Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Zebra Biologics to partner with AbbVie on new antibody therapeutics discovery

Published 10 January 2017

Pre-clinical stage biotechnology firm Zebra Biologics has partnered with AbbVie to discover agonist antibody therapeutics for inflammatory diseases.

Zebra will use its novel and patented function-based antibody discovery platform to generate antibodies that activate biological pathways associated with targets designated by AbbVie.

Zebra and AbbVie will collaborate closely on the identification and pre-clinical evaluation of emerging candidates. The targets were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zebra will lead the discovery of candidate agonist antibodies for designated targets and will collaborate with AbbVie in pre-clinical validation of select clinical candidates.

Upon advancement of clinical candidates, AbbVie would be responsible for clinical development, manufacturing, regulatory approval and world-wide commercialization. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Zebra Biologics chairman & CEO Ronald Lindsay said: “This collaboration is an important step in the evolution of Zebra from an early stage discovery company toward our vision of developing ground breaking biologic drug therapies for many serious medical conditions.

“Since inception in 2013, we have focused on expanding the application of Zebra’s core technology to multiples types of drug targets across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas. We are now very pleased to enter into a significant collaboration with AbbVie, the world’s leader in developing biologic therapies for painful and debilitating inflammatory diseases.”

About Agonist Antibodies

To date all clinically approved antibody therapeutics exert their effect by blocking (antagonizing) signaling between ligands and receptors or by neutralizing pathogens. Rare antibody molecules may also activate biochemical pathways, although finding such “agonist” antibodies has proven difficult.

As demonstrated in key peer-reviewed publications, the recently developed Zebra screening platform opens up a novel biological function-based approach to screening very large combinatorial antibody or other peptidic libraries for potent and highly selective agonist biologic drugs.

Source: Company Press Release