Abb Vie and Tizona Therapeutics, Inc. have entered into a global, strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize CD39-targeted therapeutics, including TTX-030, a first-in-class antibody for the treatment of cancer.
The ATP-adenosine, a key immune regulatory switch in the tumor microenvironment (TME) controls the inflammatory and suppressive activities of immune cells. CD39 is the enzyme responsible for the initial steps in the conversion of immune stimulatory extracellular ATP to immune suppressive adenosine in the TME. Inhibition of CD39 with TTX-030 represents a novel and differentiated approach to targeting this pathway.
Tizona received $105 million upfront for the exclusive option to license the CD39 program including TTX-030. AbbVie has also made an equity investment in Tizona. Tizona will lead clinical development through completion of Phase lb studies, after which AbbVie has an exclusive option to lead global development and commercial activities. Tizona retains an option to co-develop and co-promote in the U.S. and is eligible for success-based development and commercial milestones and royalties on sales.
"Immuno-oncology is one of AbbVie's key focus areas in our mission to discover and develop medicines that drive transformational improvements in cancer treatment," said Mo Trikha, Ph.D., vice president, head of Oncology Early Development, AbbVie. "Exploring the tumor microenvironment as a source of targets that can be modulated to inhibit cancer growth holds tremendous promise. The Tizona team has generated compelling preclinical data for their TTX-030 program, and we look forward to a productive collaboration focused on rapidly advancing this novel first-in-class antibody."
"Tumors employ various strategies to create a tolerogenic microenvironment, which reduces the immune system's ability to detect and fight cancer," said Courtney Beers, Ph.D., Vice President, Immunology, Tizona. "Preclinical research shows that inhibiting CD39 may hold the key to restoring and bolstering immune responses against tumors. In AbbVie, we have a partner who shares our passion for science and commitment to delivering breakthrough innovation to patients with cancer. We look forward to advancing this exciting program."
An investigational new drug application for TTX-030 has been accepted by U.S. FDA.