CSL Limited and Vitaeris Inc. announces that they have entered into a calculated collaboration and purchase option agreement to accelerate the development of clazakizumab (an anti-IL6 MAB, formerly ALD518) as a therapeutic option for solid organ transplant rejection.
Clazakizumab is a humanized, monoclonal antibody that binds to and inhibits Interleukin-6. IL-6 is an important driver of the inflammatory response and is known to play a pivotal role in transplant rejection.
Vitaeris will receive an upfront cash payment of US$15 million from CSL, as well as R&D milestone payments for several years. According to the agreement, Vitaeris will also maintain control of projects through the end of phase III. The agreement grants CSL an exclusive option to acquire Vitaeris and includes future sales-related payments to Vitaeris, as well as a royalty to Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc., the innovator of clazakizumab.
“CSL is committed to developing therapies for patients with rare and life-threatening conditions,” says professor Andrew Cuthbertson, chief scientific officer, CSL Limited. “Vitaeris’ transplant rejection program is complementary to CSL’s current development activities in solid organ transplant. This is an exciting strategic alliance in an important area of unmet clinical need.”
Clazakizumab has been specially designed to remove antibody-dependent cell- mediated cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity. It has been administered in clinical trials that have evolved over one thousand patients and has performed well against safety and efficacy criteria with acceptable tolerability in autoimmune diseases.
“This partnership enables Vitaeris to maintain autonomy in defining our research strategy and conducting clinical development of clazakizumab,” says Kevin Chow, Ph.D., president and CEO, Vitaeris. “It aligns our company with CSL’s global leadership in immunology and leverages our shared goal to transform healthcare for solid organ transplant recipients.”