Elusys Announces Collaborative Research And License Agreement With Pfizer
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- Published on Friday, 05 January 2007 02:00
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PINE BROOK, NJ, USA | Jan 04, 2007 | Elusys Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing targeted anti-infective antibodies to fight life-threatening infections, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive collaborative research and license agreement with Pfizer Inc. to develop new therapeutics for select infectious diseases using Elusys’ HP Antibody™ technology. The research collaboration will include ETI-211, an HP Antibody for the treatment of methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, in addition to research into other indications.
Under the terms of the agreement, Elusys and Pfizer will collaborate on determining the full product profile of ETI-211 and perform research on other indications of the HP Antibody technology. Elusys will receive an upfront equity investment, research and development funding plus near-term research milestones. Elusys has also granted Pfizer an option to acquire an exclusive worldwide license to products developed under the agreement, and upon exercise, the company will receive significant clinical and sales milestones, as well as royalties on future sales of products resulting from the collaboration.
HP Antibodies represent a unique approach to the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases by enhancing the effectiveness of the body’s natural defense mechanisms to remove and destroy lifethreatening pathogens. An HP Antibody drug consists of a monoclonal antibody specific to an immune receptor (CR1) that is chemically linked to a second antibody that binds a particular pathogen. By targeting CR1, HP Antibodies enhance a natural clearance mechanism and direct the rapid removal of pathogens into liver macrophages, where they are destroyed and removed from the body.
Elizabeth Posillico, Ph.D., President & CEO of Elusys Therapeutics commented, “We are delighted that Pfizer has recognized the potential value of our HP Antibody technology as a novel approach for the treatment of life-threatening infections. Pfizer’s impressive scientific team and expertise in infectious diseases provides Elusys with a strong partner to advance HP Antibody products into human clinical trials.” Dr. Posillico added, “In parallel with the collaborative research on ETI-211, Elusys will continue to advance its other internal clinical development programs. These include Anthim™, our Phase I therapeutic for anthrax infection and our HIV HP Antibody and CR1 Vaccine programs.”
ETI-211 is a proprietary HP Antibody drug being developed to treat MRSA infections. In previously reported studies by Elusys, mice given ETI-211 prophylactically were completely protected against a lethal MRSA challenge. Further, all ETI-211 treated animals survived a second lethal challenge of either MRSA or S. epidermidismonths later, with no additional drug treatment.
MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to almost all antibiotics. MRSA accounts for over half of the infections in intensive care units in the US alone, with an estimated 300,000 people contracting MRSA infections each year, resulting in approximately 12,000 deaths. MRSA infections incur significant treatment and hospitalization costs versus other infections, exceeding $48,000 per patient on average.
Elusys Therapeutics is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of targeted anti-infective therapeutics using its proprietary HP Antibodies™ for the treatment of lifethreatening infectious diseases. Pfizer joins current venture investors including Essex Woodlands Health Ventures LLC, Invesco Private Capital, Crescendo Ventures, and MedImmune Ventures.