Adagene Announces SAFEbody® Multi-Target Collaboration with Sanofi for Novel Masked Immuno-Oncology Antibody Candidates
Adagene Inc. (“Adagene”) (Nasdaq: ADAG), a company transforming the discovery and development of antibody-based therapies, today announced a collaboration and exclusive license agreement with Sanofi to generate masked monoclonal and bispecific antibodies for development and commercialization by Sanofi.
Under the terms of the agreement, Adagene will be responsible for early stage research activities to develop masked versions of Sanofi candidate antibodies, using Adagene’s SAFEbody technology. Sanofi will be solely responsible for later stage research and all clinical, product development and commercialization activities.
Sanofi will make an upfront payment of $17.5 million to Adagene and will have the ability to advance two initial Sanofi antibody candidates in the collaboration, followed by an option for two additional candidates. Additionally, Adagene will be eligible to receive total potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $2.5 billion for advancement of the candidates, which will be exclusively developed and commercialized by Sanofi. Adagene is eligible to also receive tiered royalties on global net sales of approved collaboration products.
“Committed to chasing the miracles of science, we look forward to working with Adagene to design antibodies that can help us deliver on our mission to bring transformative new medicines to people living with cancer,” said Valeria Fantin, Global Head of Oncology Research, Sanofi. “Adagene’s antibody platform should help us to precisely target established, but poorly addressed oncology mechanisms with best-in-class medicines.”
“We are excited to work with Sanofi and unlock the potential of multiple promising yet challenging immuno-oncology targets by applying our SAFEbody precision masking technology, which is validated by extensive preclinical research as well as clinical data from our ADG126 anti-CTLA-4 program,” said Peter Luo, Ph.D., Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of Adagene. “We are at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of antibody discovery and engineering by leveraging our AI-powered technology platform. This enables dynamic and precise target engagement by our antibody-based therapeutics, which are tailor made to overcome the fundamental challenges in oncology drug development today.”
SAFEbody technology is designed to address safety and tolerability challenges associated with many antibody therapeutics by using precision masking technology to shield the binding domain of the biologic therapy. Through activation in the tumor microenvironment, this allows for tumor-specific targeting of antibodies, while minimizing on-target off-tumor toxicity in healthy tissues. SAFEbody technology can be applied to a wide variety of therapeutic modalities, including monoclonal and bispecific antibodies such as Fc empowered antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, and T-cell engagers.
In addition to ongoing collaborations, Adagene is building a deep, broad and differentiated pipeline of transformative antibody-based therapeutics. A total of five product candidates are in clinical development, created leveraging Adagene’s AI-powered antibody technology platform. These include three wholly-owned clinical assets in phase 1b/2 development by Adagene, and two product candidates outlicensed in Greater China. Additionally, Adagene has five antibody-based candidates in IND-enabling studies and over 50 more across different stages of discovery.