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Astrazeneca Licenses Regeneron’s VelocImmune® Technology for Discovering Human Monoclonal Antibodies

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc has announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement that will allow AstraZeneca to utilise Regeneron’s VelocImmune® technology in their internal research programs to discover human monoclonal antibodies.

AstraZeneca will conduct the work at Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) in the UK as part of its recently stated aim of building a biopharmaceutical capability.

AstraZeneca will pay $20 million upfront and will make up to five additional annual payments of $20 million, subject to the ability to terminate the agreement after making the first three additional payments.

Upon commercialisation of any antibody products discovered utilising VelocImmune, AstraZeneca will pay to Regeneron a mid-single-digit royalty on product sales.

“VelocImmune is the centerpiece of Regeneron’s suite of technologies for the discovery and development of fully human antibodies,” said George D Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, President of Regeneron Research Laboratories and Regeneron's Chief Scientific Officer.

“We are pleased that AstraZeneca, a company with a clear strategic commitment to developing therapeutic antibodies, has selected the VelocImmune platform for its internal development programme,” he said.

“AstraZeneca is committed to becoming a leader in the area of biologicals and VelocImmune is an important part of our strategy to succeed in this field,” said Jan Lundberg, PhD, Executive VP Global Discovery Research.

Alex Duncan, PhD, CAT’s SVP Drug Discovery, commented, “This combination of CAT’s display technologies and the VelocImmune platform will provide enormous potential for creating antibody therapeutics”.