The partnership will involve progressing macrophage-targeting antibody treatment for cancer

Macomics – a company focused on macrophage drug discovery – has announced that it is commencing on a worldwide drug discovery collaboration with Ono Pharmaceutical.

The duo will be developing new immuno-oncology antibody drugs against a novel macrophage target of interest in the area of cancer.

As part of the agreement, Macomics will identify antibody candidates against the novel target of interest by incorporating its ENIGMACTM macrophage drug discovery platform. Meanwhile, Ono will have an exclusive option to license global rights to the candidates for further commercialisation and development.

Macomics’ ENIGMAC macrophage drug discovery platform integrates large volume human data, custom cell models and proprietary human macrophage genome editing capability to discover novel targets and unlock disease-specific target biology.

Under the terms, Macomics will also receive an upfront payment, research and development funding and success-based milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties based on global sales.

Toichi Takino, executive director, discovery and research at Ono, was optimistic about the promise of the collaboration to change lives: “Targeting macrophages in immune-oncology is emerging as an exciting area with significant opportunity to deliver novel therapeutics to improve cancer outcomes and to change the lives of patients with cancer.”

He added: “Macomics has demonstrated the power of its macrophage platform and drug discovery approach and we are delighted to partner with them on taking this novel target discovery programme forwards.”

Stephen Myatt, chief executive officer at Macomics, concluded: “This global collaboration with Ono is testament to our strong programme portfolio, and the unique enablement offered by our ENIGMAC discovery platform, and our world class R&D team. Ono is a leader in immuno-oncology and we are delighted to have a partner in Ono who brings the complementary skills necessary to succeed in this therapeutic area.”