US biotech Corbus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CRBP) today announced the expansion of its portfolio into immuno-oncology through licensing deals for two new monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), CRB-601 (a high potency anti-avb8 MAb) and CRB-602 (anti-avb6/avb8 MAb), that target integrins to inhibit activation of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), from the University of California San Francisco and Panorama Research.
This new integrin program, in addition to the existing endocannabinoid system program, strengthens and diversifies Corbus’ immunology pipeline for inflammatory, fibrotic, and metabolic diseases, and cancer.
Financials of the deal
Under the combined terms of the two exclusive licensing agreements, Corbus will pay $2.0 million upfront and will make potential development and sales milestone payments totaling up to $206 million, and pay low single-digit royalties on sales.
CRB-601 and CRB-602 are two novel and distinct anti-integrin MAbs
- CRB-601 was rationally designed by Dr Stephen Nishimura and his colleagues at the University of California San Francisco and is potent at picomolar concentrations in inhibiting activation of TGFb. C6D4, the parent MAb of CRB-601, has single agent activity as well as synergistic activity when combined with an anti-PD1 MAb in syngeneic mouse tumor models. Corbus plans to develop CRB-601 for treatment of solid tumors in combination with existing therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors. Phase I studies are expected to start in 2022.
- CRB-602 was developed by Panorama Research to specifically inhibit both avb6 and avb8. Both avb6 and avb8 have been implicated in fibrotic diseases and in cancers of epithelial cell origin. Corbus believes targeting both integrins at once is a rational approach to treating fibrotic diseases and carcinomas. Phase I studies are expected to start in 2022.