AbbVie has made a deal with Teneobio to develop a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-targeting bispecific antibody for multiple myeloma.

The company will pay $90 million (£70 million) upfront under a global agreement to develop Teneobio's experimental BCMA-targeting immunotherapeutic TNB-383B for patients with the disease.

Teneobio is expected to begin the clinical programme for TNB-383B in the first half of 2019.

(BCMA) has emerged as an attractive target for multiple myeloma therapeutics. TNB-383B is a bispecific antibody that simultaneously targets BCMA and CD3, utilising Teneobio's unique anti-CD3 platform. Through this dual targeting mechanism, TNB-383B is designed to direct the body's own immune system to target and kill BCMA expressing tumour cells.

"We are excited to partner with AbbVie on our first clinical candidate, TNB-383B, which targets BCMA using our unique T-cell redirecting platform," said Roland Buelow, chief executive of Teneobio and TeneoOne.

"Combined with AbbVie's commitment to scientific advancement and bringing oncology products to the world-wide commercial market, we will be able to quickly progress the development of TNB-383B for patients in need."

Multiple myeloma is one of the most common haematological cancers and an area of significant medical need.