CCAB Signs Collaboration and License Agreement With Pionyr Immunotherapeutics Inc. to Discover Antibody Drug Development Candidates

TORONTO, Canada I April 03, 2017 I The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB), through the University of Toronto, has granted a non-exclusive license to Pionyr Immunotherapeutics encompassing an undisclosed number of antibody programs in Pionyr’s therapeutic pipeline.

Under the terms of the agreement, negotiated by the CCAB, selection, optimization and production of the antibodies will continue at the TRAC and CCAB facilities in Toronto and Pionyr researchers will validate their utility in their San Francisco-based laboratories. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

The agreement builds on a long standing collaboration between Dr. Sachdev Sidhu, Director of the TRAC and a professor at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Max Krummel, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Sidhu’s laboratory and the TRAC platform use phage display technology to generate synthetic antibodies. Among the antibodies licensed by Pionyr in the current agreement, are those identified through a novel method, CellectSeqTM, co-developed by Dr. Sidhu and collaborator, Dr. Jason Moffat. CellectSeqTM allows the direct selection of antibodies against any protein expressed in its native form on the cell surface, permitting rapid and effective antibody development against targets otherwise difficult to purify. Dr. Krummel, an expert in T cell biology, has been making significant strides in immuno-oncology since the mid-1990s. Notably, Dr. Krummel is the co-inventor of Yervoy, the first immune checkpoint inhibitor, which was approved in 2011 to treat melanoma. Drs. Sidhu and Krummel co-founded Pionyr in 2015.

“This is another great example of international collaboration and partnering on biologics development between industry and academia and a testament to the world-class research and development being conducted in Toronto at the TRAC.”
Ian Stewart, CEO, CCAB

Pionyr Immunotherapeutics is very pleased to join forces with Professor Sidhu and the University of Toronto team to develop the next generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics.”
Michel Streuli, SVP Research, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics

About Pionyr Immunotherapeutics Inc.
Pionyr (formerly Precision Immune Inc.) is developing cancer immunotherapies that target the tumor microenvironment to enhance the body’s antitumor immunity. The company is exploiting novel target discovery and antibody generation platform technologies to create the third generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics after checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T.

About the TRAC and the CCAB
The CCAB is a not-for-profit organization focused on translating research discoveries from the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC) into high value assets and products. The CCAB furthers the development of early stage antibodies and biologics for a number of applications, including therapeutics, diagnostics, imaging, and research reagents. In addition to biotechnology business development expertise, CCAB provides R&D and manufacturing know-how needed to develop antibodies and biologics into commercial products.

SOURCE: Pionyr Immunotherapeutics

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