AbbVie has exercised its exclusive option to acquire Teneobio subsidiary TeneoOne and its drug, TNB-383B, which is being developed for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (R/R MM).

A bispecific antibody, TNB-383B targets B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and cluster of differentiation 3 (CD3). It can potentially guide the body’s immune system to act against and destroy BCMA-expressing tumour cells.

The option exercise is part of a strategic partnership between AbbVie and TeneoOne signed in February 2019 to co-develop and co-market TNB-383B.

Based on interim analysis results from 103 subjects in Phase I study of the drug, AbbVie decided to purchase TeneoOne and the immunotherapeutic drug.

The trial with two portions, a monotherapy dose-escalation arm and a monotherapy dose-expansion arm, is underway.

It is assessing the safety, clinical pharmacology and clinical activity of TNB-383B in R/R MM patients who had a minimum of three previous lines of treatment.

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According to interim data from this trial, TNB-383B offered a 79% objective response rate and complete response of 29% at doses greater than or equal to 40mg in the dose-escalation arms with a 6.1-month median follow-up period.

AbbVie noted that the median duration of response was not reached at the trial’s interim analysis.

AbbVie vice-chairman and president Michael Severino said: “Since the beginning of this partnership, we have been encouraged by the potential of TNB-383B as a promising new therapy for multiple myeloma and our analysis of the Phase I data to date has allowed us to make this decision with confidence.

“While other BCMA and CD3 bispecific therapies require weekly administration, the recommended Phase II dose of TNB-383B will investigate infrequent dosing of every three weeks for intravenous administration, which is an important treatment factor for people living with multiple myeloma.”

The transaction is subject to necessary closing conditions, which comprise clearance from the US antitrust authorities.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not divulged by the companies.

The latest development comes after AbbVie signed an exclusive, collaboration and option agreement to develop and market Caraway Therapeutics’ small molecule candidates to treat Parkinson’s disease and other related conditions.