MedImmune, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement with Avidia, Inc. to develop anti-cancer products targeting cMET, a receptor tyrosine kinase found in high levels in certain cancer cells.
The collaboration also calls for the development of two additional targets using Avidia's Avimer technology.
Avimers, which are small, stable proteins that can act like antibodies and bind selectively to different receptors or ligands, may have several advantages as therapeutic products in terms of biological activity, tissue distribution, reduced immunogenicity, and improved manufacturing efficiencies.
“We were initially introduced to Avidia's promising Avimer technology in 2004 through MedImmune Ventures' participation in Avidia's Series B financing,” said Peter A. Kiener, D.Phil., MedImmune's senior vice president, research.
“We have been impressed with Avidia's progress, and look forward to combining our growing expertise in the field of tyrosine kinase research with the Avimer technology to develop anti-cancer product candidates.”
“Due to their size and potential versatility, Avidia's Avimers may provide advantages over monoclonal antibodies for the treatment or prevention of disease.”
Under the terms of the contract, MedImmune will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of products resulting from the agreement.
Avidia will provide research and development support and receive an upfront fee, development and regulatory milestone payments, as well as royalties on any future marketed products.
“MedImmune's leadership in protein engineering and the development of biotechnology drugs makes the company an ideal partner for Avidia,” said Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D., Avidia's chief executive officer.
“This collaboration will help us to further our experience in the design and development of Avimer products. We look forward to this collaboration, which we consider an external validation of our technology.”