AstraZeneca's biologics research and development arm MedImmune and US life sciences group Abpro have spun out a new company to advance development of a preclinical, novel bispecific antibody targeting angiopoietin-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (Ang2-VEGF).

Abpro will oversee day-to-day leadership of the new group, AbMed, which will explore several potential therapeutic areas where inhibition of the Ang2 and VEGF pathways with this unique bispecific antibody may provide clinical benefit.

The antibody, which was engineered by scientists at MedImmune, has demonstrated potent activity in animal models, which may be useful in targeting disease indications with high unmet needs, the firms note.

Abpro will use its scientific, technical and clinical expertise to drive forward the new firm and its technology platform, DiversImmune, to further refine the antibody.

Under the terms of the deal, AbMed, which will operate as a subsidiary of Abpro, will receive majority global development and commercialisation rights to the program, and MedImmune development, regulatory and sales milestones and royalties, as well as hold a minority equity stake in AbMed.

"This agreement arises out of MedImmune's culture of entrepreneurship and innovation — both in science and in business," said Jane Osbourn, vice president of R&D at MedImmune. "We believe partners like Abpro can help us maximise our extensive pre-clinical portfolio to advance therapies for patients."