Inmagene Biopharmaceuticals has exercised its option to secure an exclusive global and royalty-bearing licence for two Hutchmed drug candidates, IMG-007 and IMG-004, to treat immune and inflammatory (I&I) ailments.

The strategic move also grants Inmagene the right to sublicense the assets and is part of a collaboration initiated in 2021 to develop and commercialise a portfolio of drug candidates in the I&I field.

HUTCHMED will receive $92.5m in development milestone payments and $135m in commercial milestone payments for each candidate. The payments are apart from the sales-based royalties for the drugs.

IMG-007 is a non-depleting humanised anti-OX40 monoclonal antibody (mAb), while IMG-004 is an oral non-covalent and reversible Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

IMG-007 is undergoing Phase IIa clinical trials for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and alopecia areata.

The mAb has an extended half-life and silenced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity function, and plays a crucial role in T cell activation and survival.

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By GlobalData

Nonclinical studies have shown that IMG-007 can hinder the OX40-OX40L signalling pathway.

According to a Phase I single ascending dose (SAD) study data, the drug showed a 31-day half-life at therapeutic dose levels, which could allow for dosing every 12 weeks and a safety profile that stands out from similar molecules in development.

IMG-004 is a highly selective and brain-permeable oral agent tailored to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases long-term.

Phase I SAD study results indicate that the candidate has an extended half-life and a lasting pharmacodynamic effect, which could enable once-daily dosing.

Following the ongoing Phase I multiple ascending dose study, IMG-004 will be assessed in treating chronic spontaneous urticaria and rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition to these licensed assets, Inmagene’s in-house IMG-008, a long-acting anti-IL-36R mAb, is set to enter a global Phase I trial, further expanding its portfolio in the I&I therapeutic area.

Inmagene CEO Jonathan Wang stated: “Our strategic partnership with HUTCHMED has allowed us to take IMG-007 and IMG-004, two assets with best-in-class potential, from pre-clinical to clinical development.

“Obtaining the worldwide exclusive rights is another step forward in our journey to become a global leader in novel drug development for I&I diseases.”