Exelixis, Inc. and Invenra, Inc. today announced that they have expanded their discovery and licensing collaboration to include an additional 20 oncology targets. The augmented partnership builds on the two companies’ ongoing collaboration and license agreement to discover and develop mono-specific and multi-specific antibodies for incorporation into novel biologics to treat cancer, which was originally announced in May 2018 and expanded in October 2019.

“We’re very pleased with the successful relationship we’ve had with Invenra to-date and look forward to expanding our existing collaboration to include additional oncology targets,” said Peter Lamb, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer of Exelixis. “As Exelixis seeks to build a differentiated next-generation pipeline in oncology, we’re leveraging Invenra’s expertise in antibody and bispecific discovery to provide key building blocks for potential future Exelixis biologics, including antibody-drug conjugates. Our expanded collaboration with Invenra accelerates and deepens our work together and furthers Exelixis’ mission to pursue cancer therapies that help patients live longer and recover stronger.”

Under the terms of this newly expanded collaboration, Exelixis has agreed to pay Invenra an upfront fee of $15.0 million, as well as additional fees and funding for the option to nominate up to 20 additional targets in oncology. Invenra will be eligible for development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as tiered royalties on net sales of any approved products. Exelixis will own all antibody sequences discovered from the collaboration for all therapeutic uses in oncology and any other disease areas. The expanded collaboration also provides Exelixis with an option to obtain development and commercialization rights to certain of Invenra’s future internal pipeline programs, in exchange for an opt-in fee.

“We believe the continued success of our collaboration with the Exelixis team speaks to the quality of our unique and versatile antibody discovery platform, and we are proud to continue to support the Exelixis oncology pipeline,” said Roland Green, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Invenra. “Additionally, we expect that the financial support provided to us by Exelixis will allow Invenra to further expand our research capabilities and advance our pipeline, including our best-in-class tumor selective Treg depleter, as we aim to harness the human immune response and optimize therapies to address a broader range of cancers.”

Under the terms of the original agreement, announced by the parties on May 2, 2018, Exelixis and Invenra are currently collaborating to discover and develop mono-specific and multi-specific antibodies using Invenra’s antibody and B-Body™ platforms. Invenra is responsible for antibody lead discovery and generation. Exelixis leads investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies, manufacturing, and clinical development in single-agent and combination therapy regimens, as well as future regulatory and commercialization activities. Invenra is eligible to receive payments based on the achievement of specific pre-clinical, clinical development, and regulatory milestones. Upon successful commercialization of a product, Invenra is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties. Prior to today’s announcement, the companies expanded their collaboration on October 31, 2019 to generate additional programs.

Read the full press release here