Abpro has entered a strategic collaboration with Celltrion for the global development and commercialisation of the former’s antibody therapy, a t-cell engager known as ABP 102.

The cancer molecule will be developed for treating patients with HER2+ cancer, including gastric, pancreatic and breast cancer. 

Under the deal, Celltrion will make payments totalling up to $1.75bn to Abpro. 

The payments will include an equity investment, development and commercial milestone payments, and a share of global profits. 

According to the partnership, Celltrion will oversee the development of ABP 102, after Abpro concludes in vitro studies, as well as hold the global marketing rights.

Additionally, the alliance will merge Abpro’s DiversImmune and Multimab platforms with Celltrion’s expertise in global biology drug development to progress ABP 102 for treating HER2+ cancers.

According to preliminary data, the antibody has demonstrated enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity versus other treatments for HER2+ cancer indication. 

Abpro co-founder and CEO Ian Chan said: “We are thrilled to be able to enter this collaboration with Celltrion and are excited to work with such an excellent partner on bringing this treatment to market. 

“Through our commitment to patients, we strive to enable them to live life to the fullest, and this collaboration with Celltrion, a world-class pharmaceutical company, will help us meet that goal. 

“This is a significant validation of our technology platform and also our pipeline of t-cell engagers.”

The DiversImmune platform was used to develop monoclonal antibody treatments against 300 conventionally difficult targets. 

To create these antibodies, the platform merges next-generation sequencing, nano-immunology, superior engineering and bioinformatics.

The MultiMab platform uses dual-targeting antibodies to attach to tumour cells and T cells. This approach helps antibodies destroy tumour cells by binding to cytotoxic T cells and a tumour-specific antigen.