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Celldex Announces Licensing Agreement for Cancer Antibody Program

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Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. has announced that it has entered into an Exclusive Patent and Know-How License Agreement with the University of Southampton, UK, to develop human antibodies towards CD27, a potentially important target for immunotherapy of various cancers.

In pre-clinical models, antibodies to CD27 have been shown to mediate anti-tumor effects alone, and may be particularly effective in combination with other immunotherapies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"CD27 is a critical molecule in the activation pathway of lymphocytes. It is downstream from CD40, and may provide a novel way to regulate the immune responses," said Tibor Keler, Ph.D., Celldex's Chief Scientific Officer. "We have tremendous antibody development and translational expertise at Celldex and we are excited to add this therapeutic antibody target to our portfolio."

"This antibody program brings more opportunity to our pipeline, and allows us to further demonstrate our development capabilities," added Anthony S. Marucci, President and Chief Executive Officer of Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. "We will continue to pursue additional partnerships with both biopharmaceutical companies and other academic institutions to exploit our ability to generate fully-human antibodies, and look forward to moving a number of programs into the clinic in the next few years."

"We are excited to be working with Celldex Therapeutic, Inc. on this important immunoregulatory molecule," said Professor Martin Glennie, PhD, Director of Cancer Sciences, Tenovus Research Laboratory, Southampton. "Engaging CD27 with the appropriate monoclonal antibody has proven highly effective at promoting anti-cancer immunity and we look forward to translating these results to patients."

Professor Glennie was funded by UK cancer charity Tenovus for this work.