U.S biotech company Abpro signs joint development contract with Celltrion

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 21, 2022, 13:52 Updated : September 21, 2022, 13:52

[Courtesy of Celltrion]

SEOUL -- Abpro, a clinical-stage biotech company in the Unites, has signed a contract with Celltrion, a biotech company in South Korea, to jointly develop ABP102, a bispecific antibody treatment targeting HER2-positive breast cancer. Celltrion will make additional equity investments for bispecific antibody treatment.

Bispecific antibodies are antibodies with two binding sites directed at two different antigens or two different epitopes on the same antigen. Their clinical therapeutic effects are superior to those of monoclonal antibodies, with broad applications for tumor immunotherapy as well as for the treatment of other diseases.
ABP102 is a HER2xCD3 bispecific antibody drug with a mechanism that induces cancer cell death by connecting HER2-positive cancer cells and T cells, which are one of the important white blood cells of the immune system and play a central role in the adaptive immune response.

ABP102  maximizes specificity for cancer cells while minimizing toxicity to normal cells by controlling T-cell activity. Breast cells have HER2 proteins, which are receptors that control how cells grow and divide. When breast tissue has extra HER2 receptors, breast cells can multiply quickly and lead to a tumor.

 Celltrion said it has secured the right to jointly develop and sell ABP102 globally. The development milestone is $10 million. Abpro will receive up 50 percent of profits generated by commercialization or third-party license out. Milestones from sales during commercialization were set at up to $1.75 billion.

Celltrion is in charge of in vivo proof of concept (PoC) studies, process development, preclinical animal testing, clinical development, and commercialization of therapeutic candidate materials. Abpro will develop substances, select candidate substances, and test cell efficacy. 

 The two companies have selected ABP102 as a candidate substance for bispecific antibody treatment targeting HER2-positive solid cancer. "The two companies will focus on developing treatments by making the most of their strengths and know-how for the joint goal of a new bispecific antibody cancer drug," an unnamed Celltrion official said in a statement on September 21. 
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