SHANGHAI, July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — I-Mab Biopharma (“I-Mab”), a company focusing on innovative biologics in immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation, and ABL Bio Corporation (“ABL Bio”), a South Korean biotechnology company, today jointly announced that two companies had entered into a strategic partnering agreement for ABL Bio to in-license the global rights excluding Greater China to I-Mab’s bispecific antibodies (BsAb) of undisclosed target with licensing payments of approximately US$100 million in total. The two companies also agreed on a collaboration to co-develop additional BsAbs as part of the partnership.
Under the terms of the agreement, ABL Bio will pay US$2.5 million in upfront payment. I-Mab will also receive research & development, regulatory and sales-based milestone payments, which could result in aggregate payments of US$100 million from ABL Bio. In addition, ABL Bio will pay tiered royalties on net sales. The partnership also includes three more collaborative bi-specific antibody projects. I-Mab and ABL Bio will share the development cost as well as rights in China, South Korea and rest of the world in different configurations.
“This partnership with ABL Bio is a latest addition to our growing portfolio of global partnerships spanning from early stage projects to clinical assets. We are very pleased to work with ABL Bio for their cutting-edge discovery and antibody engineering platform for novel therapeutic antibodies,” said Jingwu Zang, the founder and CEO of I-Mab. “Bi-specific antibody truly represents the next wave biologics in cancer immunotherapy for its unique modality to create target synergy,” Zang added.
“We are very excited about our partnership with I-Mab to develop First-in-Class and Best-in-Class BsAbs and our collaboration will accelerate the development of innovative immunotherapy,” said Sang Hoon Lee, the founder and CEO of ABL Bio. Lee also mentioned “We look forward to a productive and successful partnership since I-Mab is a leader in the immunology field. Because of the strong synergies between both companies, we believe this collaboration will provide a great example for our industry.”
I-Mab has successfully completed a string of in-licensing deals with global pharmaceutical companies such as MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; OTC: MPSYY) and Genexine, Inc. (KOSDAQ: 095700) to enrich its China portfolio. This out-licensing and partnership is the second such transaction for I-Mab and marks the beginning of I-Mab’s ability to out-license or co-develop its own innovative biologics through global partnerships.
Facilitated by a merger between Third Venture Biotech and Tasgen Bio, which was followed by a Series B financing of USD 150 million in 2017, I-Mab has rapidly built a highly experienced team with world-class R&D capabilities. On June 29, 2018, I-Mab announced that it had successfully raised US$220 million in Series C financing with a group of reputable investors led by Hony Capital, representing one of the largest amount ever raised in Series C by an innovative biotech company in China.
I-Mab focuses on discovery and development of First-in-Class and Best-in-Class biologics in the areas of immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation. The company has already initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial and is prepared to submit multiple IND applications for additional clinical trials in China and the US, including Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies. www.i-mabbiopharma.com
Raven Lin, Vice President of Corporate Development
About ABL Bio:
ABL Bio is a privately held South Korean biotechnology company developing antibody therapeutics for immuno-oncology and neurodegenerative disease. ABL Bio was founded in 2016 and recently completed series C fund raising of USD 65 million in 2018 after successful series A and B financing in 2016 and 2017. ABL001, a bispecific antibody (BsAb) targeting VEGF and DLL4 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trial for oncology. In the neurodegenerative disorder space, ABL Bio is harnessing its BsAb expertise to develop next-generation BsAbs designed to maximize blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetrance and therapeutic efficacy. The most advanced molecule is ABL301, an α-synuclein -targeting BsAb that penetrates the BBB via a receptor-mediated transcytosis (RMT) and is in development for Parkinson’s disease (PD). ABL Bio is also actively developing immune-oncology therapies and has built strong R&D team to develop First-in-Class and Best-in-Class BsAbs. www.ablbio.com
Sang Hoon Lee, CEO & Founder