AstraZeneca has entered a worldwide licence and option agreement with Nona Biosciences for a preclinical monoclonal antibody.

The deal focuses on the development of the antibody to develop targeted tumour therapies.

Nona is eligible to receive $19m from AstraZeneca upon completion of the deal.

Nona will also receive up to $10m in near-term milestone payments and up to $575m in additional milestone payments contingent on achieving certain development, regulatory and commercial goals.

It will receive tiered royalties on net sales of the product and payments related to option programmes if AstraZeneca decides to exercise these options.

AstraZeneca oncology research and development tumour targeted delivery senior vice-president Puja Sapra stated: “The global licence agreement with Nona Biosciences is an exciting opportunity to further develop these antibodies derived from Nona’s innovative biologics discovery engine into novel tumour targeted therapies using AstraZeneca’s industry-leading capabilities.”

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Nona offers comprehensive services from target validation to preclinical research.

The company’s “Idea to IND” approach encompasses a wide range of integrated antibody discovery services including preparation of antigens, animal immunisation, antibody screening, lead generation engineering, developability assessment and pharmacological evaluation.

Nona Biosciences chairman Jingsong Wang stated: “We are delighted to announce this agreement with AstraZeneca, global leaders in developing tumour-targeted therapies, to maximise the potential of our novel antibodies.

“This agreement further validates our leading antibody discovery platform, and we look forward to seeing our antibodies developed into potential new medicines for cancer patients.”

In February 2024, Nona announced a collaboration with Boostimmune, focusing on the development of next-generation anti-cancer therapies through immune system modulation.

The partnership is designed to utilise Nona’s Harbour Mice H2L2 platform, which is expected to expedite the development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) against novel oncology targets.

Nona Biosciences partnered with Evive Biotech in December 2023 to expedite antibody discovery and drug development activities.