Domain Therapeutics has announced that it has entered into a multi-step collaboration with XOMA Corporation, a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies.
XOMA, a California based U.S. public company, focuses its research on allosteric modulation which offers opportunities for new classes of therapeutic antibodies to treat a wide range of human diseases.
Domain Therapeutics has extensive expertise in allosteric modulation and operates DTect-All™, a platform that has successfully discovered small molecule allosteric modulators for a wide range of GPCRs.
Domain Therapeutics and XOMA will jointly evaluate the robustness of DTect-All to identify allosteric modulator antibodies of a first target. If successful, the partners may elect to further collaborate on other GPCRs from a set of preselected targets for which, under the terms of the agreement, Domain Therapeutics will be eligible for an upfront payment and certain undisclosed milestones per target, as well as undisclosed royalties. Domain will have the right to offer its DTect-All platform to discover antibody-based drugs to other companies outside the scope of the set of GPCRs selected by XOMA.
“We strongly believe that XOMA is the partner of choice to discover allosteric modulator antibodies targeting GPCRs and that applying DTect-All to this area of research will represent a real breakthrough,” said Pascal Neuville, board director and CEO of Domain Therapeutics. “We anticipate that this collaboration will enhance our drug discovery capabilities by opening the door to other biologics. It will further strengthen Domain Therapeutics’ position as a key player in GPCR drug discovery.”
The therapeutic antibodies market is expected to grow from USD 45 billion in 2011 to USD 58 billion in 2016 (BCC Research, 2012). GPCRs, as a major class of therapeutic targets, are expected to be a large part of it if technology obstacles can be overcome.
The current paradigm of GPCR-targeting antibody discovery relies on screening techniques lacking robustness and reproducibility making the process very challenging and resulting in the failure of many discovery programs.
So far, just one GPCR antibody product has reached the market, however, a pipeline of Phase II candidates does confirm strong interest by the pharmaceutical industry.
Allosteric modulator antibodies are expected to display superior selectivity and safety over classic GPCR drugs. Domain’s technology has the potential to overcome the limitations of other technologies to discover this class of antibodies with novel mode of action.
The majority of ongoing GPCR antibody discovery and development programs are dedicated to the identification of antagonist entities, which induce an inhibition of the GPCR signaling.
By facilitating access to this new category of drugs, DTect-All will generate differentiated and valuable assets for companies like XOMA, who are developing GPCR-targeting antibodies.