IONTAS, a biotechnology company focused on antibody discovery technology development, has entered into a licensing agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb regarding its proprietary mammalian display.
Under the terms of this agreement, IONTAS will receive an upfront payment for accessing the technology platform and will work with Bristol Myers Squibb in establishing the platform within its facilities. Additional near-term payments include maintenance fees, the achievement of development milestones, and eventual royalty payments on all antibodies derived from the platform.
IONTAS’ proprietary mammalian display technology enables large libraries of full-length antibodies to be expressed on the surface of mammalian cells, in a way that allows selection for optimal binding properties and optimal biophysical properties. These benefits can significantly reduce the risk of antibodies failing during the expensive manufacturing stages. Effectively the platform allows the right lead antibodies to be selected early in the discovery process, reducing the requirement for any potential costly re-engineering to correct developability issues.
John McCafferty, Chief Scientific Officer of IONTAS and inventor of the platform, commented: “We are excited to have Bristol Myers Squibb, one of the global leading biopharmaceutical companies, as our licensing partner. Our mammalian display system not only allows the screening of tens of millions of clones directly for binding but also has a unique advantage to detect developability issues. This allows us to ’fix’ problematic antibodies and identify them during early drug discovery. This can save the industry significant time and money by generating developable products faster.”