The collaboration to leverage AbbVie's therapeutic area expertise and Tentarix's Tentacles platform, to develop novel multifunctional biologics in oncology immunology, and provides AbbVie with an exclusive option to acquire the therapeutic programs


AbbVie building in Bay Area, California, US. (Credit: AbbVie Inc.)

AbbVie and Tentarix Biotherapeutics have teamed up for the discovery and development of conditionally active, multi-specific biologic candidates in oncology and immunology.

Tentarix is engaged in developing advanced protein therapeutics with uniquely combined bioactivities that leverage powerful synergistic biology.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Tentarix will receive $64m in upfront option payments from AbbVie, for the two programmes.

The US drugmaker will receive an exclusive option to fully acquire the programs after candidate nomination, for an additional undisclosed payment for each programme.

AbbVie senior vice president and discovery research global head Jonathon Sedgwick said: “Oncology and immunology are two of our key strategic growth areas where we are pursuing novel technologies that aim to deliver transformative therapies, which address unmet patient needs.

“This strategic partnership complements our ongoing efforts in developing novel biologics, potentially to expand our oncology and immunology portfolios with conditionally-active multi-specific molecules.”

The multi-year collaboration will leverage AbbVie’s expertise in oncology and immunology with Tentarix’s in-house Tentacles platform.

Tentacles are multi-functional, conditionally-active antibody-based biologics, designed specifically to activate immune cells that can modulate disease pathways.

The candidates will activate immune cells while potentially mitigating safety concerns associated with non-specific targeting of other immune cells.

Tentarix Biotherapeutics interim chief executive officer Don Santel said: “We are excited to join forces with AbbVie to help accelerate cutting-edge, conditionally-active therapeutic programs towards clinical applications for patients in need.

“This collaboration adds to our portfolio of internal and external pipeline programs and is a strong validation of our approach in understanding and targeting complex immune interactions that drive cancers and inflammatory diseases.”

In August last year, US-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences entered three separate multi-year collaborations with Tentarix to leverage its Tentacles platform.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tentarix will receive a total of $66m in upfront payments and an equity investment from Gilead.

Gilead can acquire up to three select Tentarix subsidiaries holding the programs developed under the collaborations at a purchase price of $80m per subsidiary.