Clinical-stage biotechnology company Bolt Biotherapeutics Inc. (BOLT:NASDAQ), which is engaged in developing new classes of immuno-oncology agents that utilize targeting antibodies combined with the power of human systems, yesterday announced that it entered into a drug research and development collaboration with Innovent Biologics, Inc. (01801:HK), a China-based biopharma firm that develops, manufactures, and sells medicines aimed at treating autoimmune, metabolic, oncological, ophthalmological, and other diseases. The two companies indicated that they are partnering together for the purposes of "developing three new anti-cancer therapeutic immune-stimulating antibody conjugate (ISAC) candidates."
Bolt Biotherapeutics stated that it intends to employ its ISAC technology and myeloid biology expertise to leverage Innovent Bio's proprietary therapeutic antibody portfolio and discovery capabilities against unspecified oncology targets with the goal of creating three new cancer treatments.
Bolt Biotherapeutics' CEO Randall Schatzman, Ph.D. commented, "Innovent is a leader in the development of innovative antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, with advanced research and development teams and an expanding commercial infrastructure in China. We look forward to collaborating with Innovent on the development of novel ISAC anti-cancer therapeutic candidates."
"Our preclinical and early clinical studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the ISAC approach and the benefits of stimulating both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system in the fight against cancer," Schatzman added.
Dr. Yong Jun Liu, President of Innovent Biologics remarked, "We are very excited about the potential for the Boltbody ISAC platform to generate best-in-class approaches to treating multiple tumor types…Bolt has spent several years building and optimizing this platform, which we can leverage to expedite the development of important new products. We look forward to working together with Bolt to bring innovative therapies to patients as soon as possible."
Bolt advised that under the terms of the agreement, Innovent will own the rights to all three programs in Greater China. In addition, Innovant will retain the global licensing rights for one of the three programs and will hold the global rights to another outside of North America. Bolt Bio will retain the option to license global rights for one of the three programs except within Greater China.
The agreement stipulates that Innovent will be responsible for paying all R&D costs through clinical proof-of-concept. When the initial clinical proof-of-concept data is received, the companies may at their choosing exercise licensing options for further development and commercialization rights on a program-by-program basis.
The report listed that Bolt Bio is to receive an upfront cash payment of $5 million from Innovent at signing with potential for an equity investment of up to $10 million at a later date. Each of the firms is also eligible to receive various milestone payments and royalties associated with future sales from the territories where it owns the licensing rights.
The company explained in the report that its Boltbody™ ISAC platform "is a new category of immunotherapy that combines the precision of antibody targeting with the strength of the innate and adaptive immune systems."
Bolt stated that it is pioneering specific ISACs that are made of three main components, which include a tumor-targeting antibody, a non-cleavable linker, and a proprietary immune stimulant that is designed to activate an individual's innate immune system. The company explained that "by initially targeting a single marker on the surface of a patient's tumor cells, an ISAC can create a new immune response by activating and recruiting myeloid cells."
Bolt Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology firm based in Redwood City, Calif. The company is endeavoring to create a new class of immuno-oncology agents that works by combining targeted precision antibodies with the body's own innate and adaptive immune systems in order to effectively produce a robust anti-tumor immune response.
Innovent Biologics is a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of high-quality biopharmaceutical products. The company's medicines are focused on treating autoimmune, cancer, metabolic, and other serious major diseases. Innovent operates a fully integrated multi-functional platform with turnkey capabilities including research and development, manufacturing, clinical trial development, and product commercialization and marketing.
The firm currently has 25 candidates in its development pipeline including five that have already received official approval for marketing. Innovent's shares trade on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code (symbol) 01801.HK.
Bolt Biotherapeutics has a market capitalization of around $585.9 million with approximately 37.2 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 6.3%. BOLT shares opened slightly higher today at $15.85 (+$15.85, +0.63%) over yesterday's $15.75 closing price. The stock traded Friday between $15.85 and $17.435 per share and closed for trading at $17.28 (+$1.53, +9.71%).
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