Tiziana Life Sciences plc, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing targeted drugs for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, announced the acquisition of an exclusive world-wide license for NI-1201, a fully human anti-interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) monoclonal antibody (mAb), from Novimmune SA. In exchange for the exclusive license from Novimmune the Company agreed to an upfront cash payment, milestone payments, and a royalty on future sales.
Monoclonal antibodies against IL-6R have been explored as potential drugs to treat inflammation in the past. NI-1201’s unique mechanism, however, has the potential to considerably increase anti-inflammatory activity as well as complementing the Company’s program on foralumab (NI-0401), a fully human oral anti-CD3 mAb.
“We view NI-1201 as a potential game-changer for addressing the high unmet need of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases” commented Gabriele Cerrone, Chairman of Tiziana Life Sciences. “The acquisition of NI-1201 not only strengthens our business strategy of developing novel fully human mAbs to treat life-threatening inflammatory diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and rheumatoid arthritis, but expands our potential to leverage the pioneering work we are doing with foralumab, the oral anti-CD3 mAb to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”
“The acquisition of NI-1201 is both strategic and very exciting for Tiziana Life Sciences because a fully human anti-IL-6R mAb perfectly complements foralumab, the Company’s fully human oral anti-CD3 mAb which is being explored for treatment of NASH and type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Howard Weiner, a member of Tiziana Life Sciences’ Scientific Advisory Board. “It is known that dampening inflammatory signals driven by IL-6 enhances the induction of the regulatory mechanism induced by anti-CD3 mAb’s (Faria AM and Weiner HL. Oral tolerance. Immunol Rev. 2005; 206:232-59).”
Filed Under: Drug Discovery