BioWorld International Correspondent

LONDON Oxford GlycoSciences plc agreed to a three-year collaboration with BioInvent International, of Lund, Sweden, to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies aimed at antigen targets discovered by OGS’s proteomics technology.

As part of the agreement, OGS is making a $5 million equity investment in BioInvent.

Michael Kranda, CEO of OGS, said the deal is important both because it provides access to BioInvent’s phage display technology and libraries, and because of the Swedish company’s antibody manufacturing capabilities.

“This relationship will complement our therapeutic antibody discovery and development platform, providing us with a wide range of options to develop antibody-based therapeutic products,” he said.

OGS has a deal, signed in September, on antibody discovery and development with Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J., which produces antibodies in transgenic mice. OGS is committed to providing 30 antigen targets in cancer and other diseases to the collaboration.

However, OGS’s proteomics technology is churning out disease-associated proteins at a prodigious rate, and the company said the antibody-generating techniques used by its two partners are complementary, and thus strengthen OGS’s overall position in developing antibodies against its targets. OGS, based in Abingdon, also has a deal with NeoGenesis Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to develop small molecules against OGS’s targets.

The full financial terms of the deal with BioInvent were not disclosed, but OGS will contribute to research funding and pay a technology access fee. Some antibody candidates will be developed jointly, with development costs and revenues being equally split. Others will be developed by OGS alone, with BioInvent receiving milestone and royalty payments. OGS will provide at least five antigen targets per year and BioInvent will be able to select at least one antibody for joint development each year.

This deal should help OGS create value from its proteomics technology. Emma Palmer, an analyst at WestLB Panmure, said, “Although it is good to see the company signing more deals that turn proteomics into drugs, it is clear that it will take some time for products from this collaboration to enter the clinic.”