Oxford BioTherapeutics has entered a strategic partnership with WuXi Biologics to develop bispecific antibodies for the treatment of several cancer types, expanding on the existing collaboration between the two.

The innovative immuno-oncology (IO) alliance will research, develop and commercialise five bispecific antibodies for the treatment of several cancer types using WuXi Biologics' WuXiBody Platform.

WuXi will receive an upfront payment as well as potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments up to as much as $450 million, and will be entitled to royalties based on the resulting global sales.

According to the firms, the WuXiBody platform can speed up the development of bispecific antibodies by six to 18 months, whilst significantly reducing manufacturing cost.

“Our immuno-oncology collaboration with WuXi Biologics, around the WuXiBody™ bispecific platform and clinical mid-stage PD-L1 antibody, is a significant step for OBT to deepen and broaden our exciting first-in-class IO pipeline,” said Dr Christian Rohlff, the group’s chief executive.

“Combining OBT's novel second generation IO medicines with a major check-point pathway into a single entity, with potential broad utility across many solid and liquid tumour types, is designed to generate novel therapies for patients who do not benefit from the existing IO medicines.

“Novel products from this collaboration, which combine multiple treatment modalities into a single agent, will improve the risk/benefit ratio, reduce costs and optimise future commercial potential.”