UK biopharma Kymab has signed a cross-licensing and development deal with Shanghai-based EpimAb Biotherapeutics to develop bispecific therapeutic antibodies against multiple targets.

The parties will concentrate on immuno-oncology and plan to combine antibodies sourced from Kymab's proprietary Kymouse platform with EpimAb's proprietary Fabs-In-Tandem Immunoglobulin platform to generate multiple bispecific antibodies.

Under the terms of the deal, the UK group will have development and commercialisation rights to these bispecifics in all geographical regions outside of China, and, under the terms of the cross-license agreement, EpimAb will have the rights to the China market.

Specific financial details weren't revealed, except that each party is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties for development programmes pursued by the other party.

"Bispecific antibodies have enormous potential to exploit our growing molecular and cellular understanding of the tumour microenvironment as it relates to immuno-oncology," said Dr David Chiswell, Kymab's chief executive.

"This agreement provides new opportunities to realise genuinely synergistic therapeutic activities and our collaboration with EpimAb will allow us to generate innovative bispecific molecules based on parental antibodies from our Kymouse platform quickly and efficiently."