Surface Oncology enters licence agreement to use Ligand’s OmniAb platform


Ligand Pharmaceuticals has entered a worldwide licence agreement for US-based biotechnology company Surface Oncology to use its OmniAb platform.

Under the licence agreement, Surface Oncology will be able to use Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ OmniRat, OmniMouse and OmniFlic platforms in order to discover fully human, monospecific and bispecific antibodies.

US biopharmaceutical company Ligand is eligible to receive annual platform access payments, development and regulatory milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties for each product incorporating an OmniAb antibody.

Surface Oncology will be responsible for all costs associated with the programmes.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals chief executive officer John Higgins said: “This agreement allows Surface Oncology to join a growing roster of companies with access to OmniAb, our novel transgenic rodent technology that goes beyond a transgenic mouse technology, adding a transgenic rat and a separate transgenic rat with fixed light chain antibodies to enable bispecific antibody discovery.

"This is the second OmniAb partnership announced within a week, further demonstrating the significant partnership interest that exists for this important, novel technology."

“This is the second OmniAb partnership announced within a week, further demonstrating the significant partnership interest that exists for this important, novel technology.”

OmniRat is the industry’s first human monoclonal antibody technology based on rats and has a complete immune system with a wide range of antibody repertoire, as well as generates antibodies with human idiotypes as effectively as wild-type animals make rat antibodies.

OmniMouse is a transgenic mouse that complements OmniRat and expands epitope coverage, while OmniFlic is an engineered rat with a fixed light chain for the development of bispecific, fully human antibodies.

Surface Oncology is an immuno-oncology company that develops advanced immunotherapies targeting the tumour microenvironment.