Almirall has signed a licensing agreement with EpimAb Biotherapeutics to utilise the latter’s Fabs-In-Tandem Immunoglobulin (FIT-Ig) platform to develop up to three bispecific antibody targets.

EpimAb is eligible for up to $210m (¥1.53bn) in milestone-based payments and net sale royalties. Almirall will hold exclusive global commercialisation rights over the therapies developed during the course of the partnership, based on a 12 October press release.

EpimAb’s FIT-Ig platform rearranges the DNA sequences of two monoclonal antibodies to generate bispecific antibodies.

“While we have made significant progress in utilizing our platform technology to develop a differentiated portfolio of bispecific antibodies in oncology, the potential of our platform in other areas such as immunology remains untapped,” said EpimAb’s CEOChengbin Wu in the press release.

“We believe Almirall is the partner of choice for this endeavour and look forward to exploring the use of our novel bispecific platform to offer additional treatment options for patients with immune-related disorders,” he added.

Other drugs in Almirall’s pipeline include Ebglyss (lebrikizumab), an anti-inflammatory drug for treating atopic dermatitis. While Almirall has the rights to commercialise the drug in Europe for dermatological indications, Eli Lilly holds them for commercialisation in the US and elsewhere in the world. In May, Eli Lilly shared new secondary data from the drug’s Phase III clinical development programme in atopic dermatitis. The post-hoc analysis showed that 58–73% of adult and adolescent patients reported a reduction in dermatitis after 16 weeks.

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Almirall is also developing ALM-27134 for treating dermatological autoimmune diseases. The drug targets interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP) and is currently in Phase I clinical development.

Recent partnerships for developing new antibody therapies include Bayer‘s licensing agreement with Twist Bioscience to develop antibody therapies against targets supplied by the former. Earlier this month, Salipro Biotech and Icosagen collaborated to develop monoclonal antibodies that target specific G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and solute carrier (SLC) transporters.