HAYWARD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (NYSE:RCUS), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company working to create best-in-class cancer therapies, and WuXi Biologics (2269.HK), a global company with leading open-access biologics technology platforms, today announced an expansion of their existing strategic relationship under which the parties will discover anti-CD39 antibodies using WuXi Bio’s proprietary technology. This CD39 collaboration represents the fourth antibody development program on which the two companies have joined forces. Arcus was granted exclusive worldwide rights to anti-CD39 antibodies discovered under the collaboration and will be responsible for all further development and commercialization activities of such anti-CD39 antibodies.
The ATP-adenosine axis is believed to play a critical role in maintaining an immunosuppressed tumor microenvironment. Inhibition of one or more of the key nodes (CD39, CD73, or adenosine A2a and A2b receptors) along this axis aims to reduce the formation or activity of the highly immunosuppressive adenosine. A potential additional benefit of CD39 inhibition, aside from blocking an important source of adenosine, is the increase in intra-tumoral ATP, an important molecule for the recruitment and activation of dendritic cells. Preclinical experiments indicate that the combination of CD39 inhibition with either CD73 or adenosine receptor inhibition provides robust inhibition of this axis and increased anti-tumor immunity.
“WuXi Biologics is a global leader in the development and manufacture of therapeutic antibodies. Our relationship with WuXi Biologics started in 2017 with a clinic-ready anti-PD1 antibody, zimberelimab, which possesses molecular properties similar to those of marketed anti-PD1 therapies and has shown impressive clinical anti-tumor activity,” said Juan Jaen, Ph.D., president and head of research at Arcus Biosciences. “Furthermore, WuXi Biologics has been an excellent manufacturing partner for our anti-TIGIT antibodies, domvanalimab (AB154) and AB308. We are excited to now extend our existing relationship with WuXi Biologics by combining core competencies to discover anti-CD39 antibodies that have the potential to synergize with adenosine-targeted molecules in our existing portfolio of clinical agents. This will allow us to continue to maintain our position as one of the industry’s leading companies in the targeting of the ATP-adenosine axis for the treatment of cancer.”
“We’re thrilled to expand our strategic partnership with Arcus Biosciences to further enable this innovative company to bring new biologics solutions using WuXi Biologics’ proprietary integrated platforms. This partnership is a strong testament to our industry-leading capabilities and expertise,” said Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics. “We’re committed to offering global open-access technology platforms with premier quality standards to support our global partners as they build their innovative ideas into transformative new treatments for patients worldwide.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the development of any anti-CD39 antibodies from the collaboration is not expected to materially impact Arcus’s financial position over the current cash runway.
About Arcus Biosciences
Arcus Biosciences is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company leveraging its deep cross-disciplinary expertise to discover highly differentiated therapies and to develop a broad portfolio of novel combinations addressing significant unmet needs. Arcus currently has four molecules in clinical development: Etrumadenant (AB928), the first and only dual A2a/A2b adenosine receptor antagonist in the clinic, is being evaluated in multiple Phase 2 and 1b studies across different indications, including prostate, colorectal, non-small cell lung, pancreatic and triple-negative breast cancers. AB680, the first small-molecule CD73 inhibitor in the clinic, is in Phase 1 development for first-line treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer in combination with zimberelimab and gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel. Domvanalimab (AB154), an anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody and new potential immuno-oncology backbone therapy, is in a three-arm randomized Phase 2 study for first-line treatment of PD-L1-high metastatic non-small cell lung cancer evaluating zimberelimab monotherapy, AB154 with zimberelimab and AB154 plus AB928 with zimberelimab. Zimberelimab (AB122), Arcus’s anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, is also being evaluated in a Phase 1b study as monotherapy for cancers with no approved anti-PD-1 treatment options, and in various combinations across the portfolio. For more information about Arcus Biosciences, please visit www.arcusbio.com.
About WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop, and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. The company’s history and achievements demonstrate its commitment to providing a truly one-stop service offering and strong value proposition to its global clients. As of June 30, 2020, there were a total of 286 integrated projects, including 141 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 125 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 19 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and one project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, the U.S., Germany, and Singapore exceeding 280,000 liters after 2023, WuXi Biologics will provide its biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information about WuXi Biologics, please visit: www.wuxibiologics.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein, including, but not limited to, potential synergies of an anti-CD39 antibody with Arcus’s existing molecules, benefits associated with an expansion of the company’s relationship with WuXi Biologics and funding requirements, are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, failure of any discovery candidates to meet the profile or achieve the properties desired by Arcus, the inherent uncertainty associated with pharmaceutical product development, our relationship with our other strategic collaborators, including our dependence on Gilead for the successful development and commercialization of our investigational products, and changes in the competitive landscape. Risks and uncertainties facing Arcus are described more fully in Arcus’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2020 filed on November 5, 2020 with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Arcus disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update, supplement or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
The Arcus name and logo are trademarks of Arcus. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.
Source: Arcus Biosciences