MONROVIA, Calif. & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNCR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced a strategic collaboration to study investigational treatments for patients with a variety of cancer types. The parties will collaborate to design and execute additional clinical studies with Xencor’s portfolio of XmAb® drug candidates, including novel bispecific antibodies and engineered cytokines. Xencor is committing to funding and supporting these studies over an initial five-year term.
“MD Anderson is a leader in clinical research for both hematological and solid tumor oncology, and we are excited to enter this broad collaboration,” said Allen Yang, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at Xencor. “This alliance partnership will enable us to expand our ongoing efforts into additional indications, generate new clinical insights, inform key decisions and accelerate development timelines across our oncology portfolio. We look forward to working closely with MD Anderson as we advance new therapies to patients in need.”
Xencor’s clinical-stage bispecific antibodies and cytokines are engineered with a heterodimer Fc domain (antibody tail), which enables their rapid design, simplified development and stable structure. Nine XmAb bispecific antibodies and one engineered cytokine are being evaluated in Phase 1 clinical studies conducted by Xencor and its partners:
- CD3 bispecific antibodies contain a tumor associated antigen (TAA) binding domain and a second binding domain targeted to CD3, an activating receptor on T cells, with the goal to recruit or activate T cells against tumors with the antigen target. Xencor’s CD3 bispecific candidates in Phase 1 development include vibecotamab (CD123 x CD3) for patients with acute myeloid leukemia, plamotamab (CD20 x CD3) for patients with B cell malignancies and tidutamab (SSTR2 x CD3) for patients with neuroendocrine tumors and gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
- Tumor microenvironment (TME) activator bispecific antibodies promote tumor-selective T-cell activation by targeting multiple checkpoints or co-stimulating receptors. TME bispecifics incorporate Xencor’s Xtend™ technology for longer half-life. XmAb20717 (PD1 x CTLA4), XmAb22841 (CTLA4 x LAG3) and XmAb23104 (PD1 x ICOS) are being evaluated in Phase 1 studies in patients with select advanced solid tumors.
- Cytokines built with Xencor’s XmAb bispecific Fc domain have their potencies tuned to improve therapeutic index and also incorporate Xtend technology for longer half-life. Xencor and its co-development partner Genentech are evaluating XmAb24306, a novel IL15 cytokine-Fc fusion protein, in a Phase 1 study in patients with solid tumors.
“Xencor’s portfolio of novel antibody-based therapies offers a unique opportunity to evaluate a variety of clinical hypotheses for improved cancer treatments,” said Christopher Flowers, M.D., ad interim division head of Cancer Medicine at MD Anderson. “By working collaboratively, we aim to identify potential benefits for many patients with hematologic cancers and solid tumors.”
About Xencor, Inc.
Xencor is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Currently, 18 candidates engineered with Xencor's XmAb® technology are in clinical development internally and with partners. Xencor's XmAb antibody engineering technology enables small changes to the structure of monoclonal antibodies resulting in new mechanisms of therapeutic action. For more information, please visit www.xencor.com.
About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 51 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No.1 for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey. It has ranked as one of the nation’s top two hospitals for cancer care since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first 16 times in the last 19 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including, but not limited to, the quotations from Xencor's chief medical officer, the quotations from MD Anderson’s interim division head of Cancer Medicine and any statements relating to the timing, expectations and success of collaborations, clinical trials, product candidates and Xencor's and MD Anderson’s research and development programs. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements and the timing of events to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Such risks include, without limitation, the risks associated with the process of discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics and other risks described in Xencor's public securities filings. For a discussion of these and other factors, please refer to Xencor's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 as well as Xencor's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on Xencor's current information and belief as well as assumptions made by Xencor. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Xencor undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, except as required by law.