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Strategic partnership reflects AC Immune’s growing expertise in monoclonal antibody development
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AC Immune SA (NASDAQ: ACIU), a Swiss-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a broad pipeline focused on neurodegenerative diseases and WuXi Biologics (“WuXi Bio”) (2269.HK), a global company with leading open-access biologics technology platforms, today unveiled plans to accelerate advancement of AC Immune’s TDP-43 antibody into clinical development for NeuroOrphan indications.
This next phase of the strategic partnership between the companies builds on the industry leading know-how of AC Immune’s proprietary drug discovery and development platforms and WuXi Biologics’ expertise in manufacturing innovative biologics. A particular focus is developing AC Immune’s clinical antibody candidate to ensure it has high-affinity for TDP-43 and is capable of preventing the intercellular spread of toxic species. With no disease modifying therapies currently available that target TDP-43 there is significant unmet need and market potential.
Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune SA, commented: “This strategic partnership highlights the benefits of a synergy between the WuXi Biologics’ integrated platforms and AC Immune’s leading drug discovery and development platforms for neurodegenerative diseases, to rapidly move candidates from discovery through clinical development and accelerate the time-to-market. Particular expertise is required in the field of monoclonal antibody development, working with a global leader like WuXi Biologics allows us to work together up to commercialization. This also reflects AC Immune’s growth, where previously monoclonal antibodies were licensed out from discovery phase.
“The agreement with WuXi Biologics is a further demonstration of how we partner productively with major industry players to enhance the drug development process and bring our groundbreaking treatments to patients.”
Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics, said: “We are pleased to enable AC Immune to turn promising candidates into tangible treatments to fulfill the unmet medical needs in the field of CNS disorder. This strategic partnership reflects the extensive trust and recognition of WuXi Biologics from AC Immune. Through our leading technology platforms, we look forward to empowering AC Immune to accelerate novel biologics development and benefiting patients worldwide.”
The expansion of the partnership between the companies with the new agreement, follows data presented at this year’s AAT-AD/PD™ conference on AC Immune’s SupraAntigen™-derived anti-TDP-43 therapeutic antibody candidate, which supported advancement into IND-enabling studies. Through the new agreement, AC Immune gains access to WuXi Biologics’ proprietary platforms including cell line development platform, for the clinical manufacturing of AC Immune’s TDP-43 monoclonal antibodies. Under the agreement, AC Immune retains all intellectual property rights to molecules.
The aggregation of pathological forms of TDP-43 is a hallmark of numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Effectively slowing or stopping the spread of TDP-43 pathology throughout the brain could provide the first antibody-based TDP-43 targeted therapeutic approach for treating conditions such as age-related dementia, limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 pathology (FTLD-TDP), with almost half of all FTLD cases exhibiting TDP-43 pathology.
About AC Immune SA
AC Immune SA is a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, which aims to become a global leader in precision medicine for neurodegenerative diseases. The Company utilizes two proprietary platforms, SupraAntigen™ and Morphomer™, to design, discover and develop small molecule and biological therapeutics as well as diagnostic products intended to diagnose, prevent and modify neurodegenerative diseases caused by misfolding proteins. The Company's pipeline features nine therapeutic and three diagnostic product candidates, with six currently in clinical trials. It has collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies including Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Eli Lilly and Company and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
About WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop, and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. The company’s history and achievements demonstrate its commitment to providing a truly ONE-stop service offering and strong value proposition to its global clients. As of June 30, 2020, there were a total of 286 integrated projects, including 141 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 125 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 19 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and one project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, the U.S., Germany, and Singapore exceeding 280,000 liters after 2023, WuXi Biologics will provide its biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information on WuXi Biologics, please visit: www.wuxibiologics.com.
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Forward looking statements
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or AC Immune’s strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “projects,” “potential,” “outlook” or “continue,” and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include those described under the captions “Item 3. Key Information – Risk Factors” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” in AC Immune’s Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These include: the impact of Covid-19 on our business, suppliers, patients and employees and any other impact of Covid-19. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and AC Immune does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.