Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:CRBP) is expanding its pipeline in immuno-oncology and fibrotic disease with licensing deals for two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), which it has named CRB-601 and CRB-602.
Both mAbs target integrins that inhibit activation of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), a cytokine linked to inflammation, fibrosis and cancer. “TGF beta needs to be activated from its latent form to exert its biologic activities,” explained Dr. Barbara White, Corbus’s chief medical officer and director of research.
CRB-601 is a high potency anti-alpha V beta 8 (anti-avb8 mAb) antibody that the company acquired from the University of California, San Francisco. “We believe that CRB-601 could offer advantages over competitor approaches and expect to initiate Phase 1 clinical studies next year,” said Corbus CEO Yuval Cohen.
The CRB-602 antibody inhibits both alpha V beta 6 and alpha V beta 8. Corbus acquired that antibody from Panorama Research Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.). Corbus believes the mAb has potential for fibrotic diseases.
“Some human epithelial malignancies or carcinomas express alpha V beta 8 themselves, which activates latent TGF beta in their microenvironment,” White added. “Importantly, overexpression of alpha V beta 8 by tumor cells and expression of TGF beta in tumors have both been linked to poor clinical outcomes.”
Corbus plans to launch clinical research for CRB-602 next year.
“These two new programs fit neatly into our pipeline, alongside our existing programs, which focus on the endocannabinoid system,” Cohen said. “They align with and extend the disease areas we are pursuing and will benefit from our expertise in drug development.”
In the combined terms of the two exclusive licensing agreements, Corbus has agreed to pay $2 million upfront. Additionally, it has offered to make potential development and sales milestone payments of up to $206,000,000 while paying low single-digit royalties on sales.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Immunology, Oncology