Affitech A/S announced that IBC Generium has exercised the license to Affitech’s lead anti-VEGF antibody drug candidate AT001/r84. The license grant triggered a payment of Euro 2.5 million by IBC Generium to Affitech A/S and provides IBC Generium with the exclusive rights to develop and market AT001/r84 in Russia and CIS while Affitech maintains the rights for the rest of the world.
Managing Director of Affitech Martin Welschof said: “I am very pleased that our Russian partner has exercised the license for AT001/r84. We have made good progress with our lead antibody candidate and we share with IBC Generium the excitement about the clinical and commercial potential of our human anti-VEGF antibody. IBC Generium is committed to proceed with the development of AT001/r84 and initial clinical development is scheduled this year.”
Affitech and NauchTekhStroy Plus recently amended their R&D and Licensing Agreement signed in April 2010, and the rights and obligations under this agreement, including the license to AT001/r84, were transferred from NTS Plus to the newly established Russian company International Biotech Center Generium (IBC Generium). IBC Generium is owned by Aleksandr Shuster and Victor Kharitonin, who through TransNova Investments Ltd. are majority shareholders in Affitech A/S.
AT001/r84 is a novel, proprietary therapeutic antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) being developed by Affitech and IBC Generium as a potential alternative to bevacizumab (Avastin®) for the treatment of certain human cancers. The Russian health authorities have identified cancer therapy based on anti-VEGF antibodies as one of the top priority areas of pharma-innovation in Russia. Affitech’s AT001/r84 has the potential to satisfy patient needs in this area. The rights to develop and commercialize AT001/r84 outside Russia and the CIS remain with Affitech.