Healthcare company Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) has exercised its option to sign a licensing agreement with biotech company Affibody.
Under the deal, the companies will develop significant treatments for inflammatory diseases that involve interleukin-1 (IL-1).
Sobi Drug Design and Development vice-president and head Stephen James said: "We are excited by the opportunities that this research collaboration offers.
"The continued expansion of our early stage pipeline is one of our main objectives this year, which will further strengthen our presence in the inflammation field and may provide additional opportunities to address the unmet medical needs in auto-inflammatory diseases."
In 2012, Sobi signed a research collaboration agreement with the biotech company, with an option to enter exclusive licensing arrangements within IL-1.
The research is based on Affibody's proprietary technology and studies the major proteins involved in the regulation of human immune and inflammatory processes.
Affibody CEO David Bejker said: "We are very pleased to sign a licensing agreement with Sobi.
"Together, we have been exploring the use of the Affibody technology in the field of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and we are excited to continue this development."
According to the suggestions of an increasing body of evidence, IL-1 is a primary mediator of inflammation and also causes auto-inflammatory diseases in children, as well as adults.
This delivers a good strategic fit with Sobi's commercial focus on inflammation as one of three primary therapeutic areas, along with the healthcare company's strategic biologics development competence and capabilities.