Disc Medicine has entered an exclusive licence agreement with Mabwell Therapeutics for the latter’s new Anti-TMPRSS6 (Transmembrane Serine Protease 6, also known as Matriptase-2) monoclonal antibodies to modulate iron homeostasis.

Under the deal terms, Disc Medicine will have exclusive rights to develop and market MWTX-003, as well as other new anti-TMPRSS6 monoclonal antibodies, discovered by Mabwell, in Europe, the US and other territories excluding China and some other territories in Southeast Asia.

By controlling iron homeostasis, MWTX-003 can address several hematologic disorders, such as polycythemia vera (PV) and beta-thalassemia.

It showed potent and durability in serum iron suppression and efficacy in animal models of beta-thalassemia and PV.

In November last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for MWTX-003.

Disc Medicine intends to commence a Phase I study of MWTX-003 in healthy volunteers in the second half of the year.

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Disc Medicine CEO and president John Quisel said: “Disc has built deep expertise in the role of iron homeostasis in hematologic disorders, and I am thrilled to expand our portfolio with these highly complementary antibody programmes.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Mabwell, a company with a strong antibody technology platform that is led by Dr Xin Du, a leading expert on TMPRSS6 biology.

“This programme is in perfect alignment with our strategy and we look forward to advancing MWTX-003 into Phase I studies later this year.”

As per terms of the agreement, Mabwell will receive $10m in upfront cash payment and also be eligible for up to $412.5m development and commercial milestones.

Disc Medicine stated that the deal is subject to customary closing conditions and approval from Mabwell Therapeutics’s parent company Mabwell shareholders.