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Chinese companies Harbour BioMed and Sichuan Kelun-Biotech Biopharmaceutical have entered into an exclusive strategic collaboration for the development and commercialisation of an anti-PD-L1 antibody, called A167, to treat cancer.

As part of the alliance, the partners will also work towards development of therapies involving combination of the anti-PD-L1 antibody with other agents. These combination therapies will be commercialised by the companies in their respective territories.

Discovered and developed by Kelun-Biotech, A167 is an investigational, immune-oncology monoclonal antibody. It is designed to bind to the PD-L1 protein and reactivate T cells against cancer cells.

The anti-PD-L1 antibody is said to possess the potential for the treatment of solid tumour and haematological malignancies as a monotherapy as well as in combination with other agents.

Currently, the drug candidate is being evaluated in various Phase I and Phase II clinical trials in China.

Harbour BioMed founder, chairman and CEO Jingsong Wang said: “A167 has significant potential as a single agent and as the foundation for combination therapy with other innovative drugs.

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“A167 has significant potential as a single agent and as the foundation for combination therapy with other innovative drugs.”

“We plan to conduct A167-based combination trials globally by ourselves, including with innovative compounds we are developing, or in collaboration with our partners, to find better therapeutic options against a wide range of tumour types.”

Kelun-Biotech chief executive office Dr Tongtong Xue said: “A167 is one of the important compounds in our portfolio.

“We are glad to enter this collaboration with Harbour BioMed which is based on trust in our partner’s capabilities and expertise. The Harbour team brings extensive global clinical development experience that will accelerate clinical trials with A167, especially in the area of combinational therapies.”

Under the terms of the deal, Kelun-Biotech will receive an upfront payment. The deal is valued at more than $350 million, excluding royalties based on annual net sales.

Harbour holds exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialise the antibody in regions outside of Greater China.

The partners plan to share data generated from their own research and clinical trials in order to support mono and combination therapies for their respective development and registration.