AbbVie has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Tentarix Biotherapeutics to discover and develop new conditionally active, multi-specific biologic candidates in oncology and immunology.

The alliance will leverage AbbVie’s capabilities in these fields along with Tentarix’s Tentacles platform technology.

The platform produces biologics that stimulate immune cells to modulate disease pathways and address safety concerns by minimising non-specific targeting of immune cells.

Tentarix is eligible to receive upfront $64m option payments from AbbVie for two programmes.

Upon nominating candidates, AbbVie will gain the option to acquire the programmes completely, with an additional undisclosed payment for each.

AbbVie discovery research global head and senior vice-president Jonathon Sedgwick stated: “Oncology and immunology are two of our key strategic growth areas where we are pursuing novel technologies that aim to deliver transformative therapies which address unmet patient needs.

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“This strategic partnership complements our ongoing efforts in developing novel biologics, potentially to expand our oncology and immunology portfolios with conditionally-active multi-specific molecules.”

Tentarix focuses on developing targeted, multifunctional, conditional therapies to meet significant unmet medical needs.

Tentarix Biotherapeutics interim CEO Don Santel stated: “We are excited to join forces with AbbVie to help accelerate cutting-edge, conditionally-active therapeutic programmes towards clinical applications for patients in need.

“This collaboration adds to our portfolio of internal and external pipeline programmes and is a strong validation of our approach in understanding and targeting complex immune interactions that drive cancers and inflammatory diseases.”

The latest development comes after AbbVie completed the acquisition of ImmunoGen for $10.1bn, a move that significantly bolsters its oncology pipeline with promising treatments for solid tumours and haematologic malignancies.

The transaction brings ImmunoGen’s antibody-drug conjugate ELAHERE (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx) into AbbVie’s portfolio.