MONROVIA, Calif. & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNCR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies and cytokines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and UCLA Technology Development Group (UCLA TDG) today announced an agreement to develop novel therapeutic antibodies, pairing novel targets proposed by scientists at UCLA and utilizing Xencor's modular suite of XmAb® technology platforms. Xencor and UCLA have established a streamlined framework to select promising biology, perform collaborative research and license intellectual property.
Xencor's XmAb platforms are precisely engineered antibody Fc domains, which enable the creation of stable new protein structures, such as bispecific antibodies and engineered cytokines, or amplification of natural immune functions, such as extending circulating half-life or enhancing immune cell cytotoxicity. Xencor and its pharmaceutical partners are now advancing 20 clinical-stage XmAb-engineered drug candidates for the treatment of patients with life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Two of these antibodies have been approved by the U.S. FDA, one for the treatment of patients with rare blood disorders and the other for an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
"The creation of exciting new therapeutic modalities requires advancing innovative biological concepts together with state-of-the-art molecular platforms to build best-in-class biologics," said John Desjarlais, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer at Xencor. "The inherent modularity and stability provided by our XmAb platforms, and our ability to precisely tune a molecule's target-binding capability, opens the door to evaluate the clinical potential of biology that was previously considered intractable. We look forward to collaborating with UCLA's investigators to translate their biological insights into potential medicines."
The UCLA Technology Development Group, the campus' gateway to innovation, research and entrepreneurship, will work with faculty to propose potential antibody drug candidates. For selected candidates, the collaborators will use a framework with predefined terms to enter sponsored research agreements and potential license agreements.
"Many revolutionary medical breakthroughs discovered by UCLA's world-class investigators have vastly improved the care of patients, including engineered T cells, therapeutic antibodies and small molecules that are now approved to treat many types of cancer," said Amir Naiberg, Associate Vice Chancellor, Chief Executive Officer and President of the UCLA Technology Development Group.
"With this collaboration, we aim to accelerate the development of potential new biologic medicines, leveraging Xencor’s protein engineering technologies and expertise and the ongoing scientific discoveries and insights into disease biology made at UCLA, with the ultimate goal to improve patient outcomes and quality of life," added Mark A. Wisniewski, Senior Director of Biopharmaceuticals at UCLA TDG.
About Xencor, Inc.
Xencor is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies and cytokines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Currently, 20 candidates engineered with Xencor's XmAb® technology are in clinical development internally and with partners. Xencor's XmAb engineering technology enables small changes to a protein's structure that result in new mechanisms of therapeutic action. For more information, please visit www.xencor.com.
About UCLA Technology Development Group
UCLA Technology Development Group (TDG) promotes UCLA innovation, research, education and entrepreneurship to benefit society. Working with UCLA TDG helps facilitate the translation of UCLA discoveries into new products and services that create economic value to support UCLA’s scholarly and educational missions. The UCLA TDG office manages a large portfolio of technologies and license agreements and has a rich history of startup company formation.
Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements include statements that are not purely statements of historical fact, and can generally be identified by our use of words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” and similar terms, or by express or implied discussions relating to Xencor’s business, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the potential for the collaboration between Xencor and UCLA to result in the creation of new therapies for patients; the ability of Xencor’s platform to enable the rapid development and investigation of therapies against tumor targets; the potential for candidates to advance toward clinical studies; whether any medicines will arise from the collaboration and the potential for future payments to be made to UCLA and Xencor arising from such medications; the quotations from Xencor's senior vice president and chief scientific officer and other statements that are not purely statements of historical fact. Such statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions of the management of Xencor and are subject to significant 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. 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, as amended to date. 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.