China’s Innovent works with Adimab in second bispecific deal this month

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Suzhou-based biotech Innovent Biologics is expanding ties to identify and develop monoclonal and bispecific antibodies by enhancing a collaboration pact with Adimab to generate IgGs for multiple targets--marking the second such announcement this month.

Innovent will identify the targets and develop any potential candidates. It will also hold global rights, according to a statement from the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Earlier this month, Innovent agreed to a potential $120 million partnership deal with Shanghai-based biotech startup EpimAb Biotherapeutics on bispecific antibodies that builds on a landmark deal in the same space reached with Eli Lilly ($LLY) last year and that has since expanded.

Innovent will buy the rights to EpimAb’s Fabs-In-Tandem Immunoglobulin, dubbed FIT-Ig, a proprietary platform to develop multiple bispecific antibodies for China. In doing so, it will and obtain the rights to out-license outside of the region in return for an upfront payment, milestones and royalties.

Innovent and Adimab initially began work three years ago on a single target for Adimab to develop into a drug candidate. Under that deal, Innovent held China rights to any therapy developed, while Adimab kept global rights. Further details of that deal were also not disclosed.

"We know from our previous projects that Adimab's reputation as the leading protein engineering company in the industry is well deserved. An antibody that came out of our relationship with Adimab is part of our recent partnership with Eli Lilly and Company," Michael Yu, CEO and co-founder of Innovent, said in a statement.

"Gaining broader access to Adimab was very important to achieving our long-term goals, so we are very pleased to have expanded our relationship."

Innovent lists 10 antibodies in development covering indications from ophthalmology to oncology to inflammatory diseases.

Adimab uses its antibody discovery and optimization platform and custom antibody libraries to work with major drug companies, including Merck ($MRK), Novartis ($NVS) and Eli Lilly, among others, as well as academic researchers.

- here's the release

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