Alligator Bioscience and Orion are initiating the second programme of their immuno-oncology research collaboration and licence agreement.

The second programme involves the development of a new bispecific antibody with potential applications in solid tumours using Alligator’s Ruby platform.

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As part of the expanded collaboration, Alligator and Orion will provide validated monospecific binders for each target, respectively.

Under the original agreement, which was signed in 2021, Alligator leverages its phage display libraries and RUBY bispecific platform for developing the immuno-oncology product candidates based on the design criteria that were identified by Orion.

Alligator Bioscience CEO Søren Bregenholt said: “Our collaboration with Orion is progressing extremely well, with both companies making meaningful contributions to the first program and complementing each other’s scientific expertise.

“The initiation of this second project is a testament to the strength of Alligator’s technology platform, including our bispecific RUBY format.”

Alligator is entitled to receive milestone payments of up to $500.78m (€469m) for the development, approval, and sales of the three potential programmes.

It is also eligible to receive royalties on any future development and commercialisation of the resulting product candidates from Orion.

Orion R&D senior vice-president Outi Vaarala said: “We are excited to start another joint project with Alligator Bioscience and continue our development of new immuno-oncology treatments, which has started very well.”

The start of the second programme will enable Alligator to receive $1.3m (€1.25m) in an upfront payment, which includes a fee for the available validated binders.

Furthermore, the company is entitled to an additional $530,000 (€500,000) when the bispecific antibody’s technical feasibility is demonstrated in relation to the validated binders.