BioAtla® receives $36 million as balance of 2016 CAB program selection payments
SAN DIEGO, CA – December 6, 2016 – BioAtla® LLC, a global biotechnology company focused on the development of Conditionally Active Biologic (CAB) antibody therapeutics, today announced that BioAtla® and Beijing Sinobioway Group Company, Limited (Sinobioway) selected their first four CAB product programs for development. The specific program candidates and the targeted indications are not disclosed. In March 2015, BioAtla and Sinobioway entered into a strategic collaboration for the development and commercialization of select CAB antibodies for specific indications in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (the Territory). Related to this agreement and as a result of the selection of all four of the 2016 CAB candidates for development, BioAtla received on November 1, 2016 a $36 million payment from Sinobioway representing the balance of the collaboration funding for the selection of the four 2016 CAB candidates and the specific indications. Including these funds, BioAtla has received more than $100 million in program payments and equity investments relating to its strategic collaboration agreement with Sinobioway.
BioAtla and Sinobioway are working collaboratively to develop several CAB candidates for specific indications for the Territory. Sinobioway pays BioAtla pre-determined collaboration fees for each indication it chooses to license and develop. As part of the agreement, Sinobioway has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize selected CAB antibodies for selected indications in the Territory and BioAtla retains the rest of world rights to these products candidates and indications. Sinobioway is obligated to fund the development, manufacturing, clinical trials and commercialization costs in the Territory. BioAtla is further eligible to receive certain milestone payments and double-digit royalties on sales. BioAtla’s agreement with Sinobioway is open-ended as there is no annual minimum number of CAB antibody indications that Sinobioway is obligated to select after the initial four and no maximum that BioAtla may nominate and that Sinobioway may select, and the indication nomination and selection process remains active through the term of the agreement. However, in order to maintain exclusivity in the Territory for the CAB antibodies in indications it has licensed, Sinobioway is obligated to select a minimum number of CAB antibodies for certain indications BioAtla nominates each year, which would result in BioAtla’s receipt of at least $40 million per year from collaboration fees on an ongoing basis.
This strategic collaboration is the keystone of BioAtla’s long-term plans to address the growing demand for innovative therapeutic products in the China pharmaceutical market. BioAtla’s patent protected Conditionally Active Biologics platform represents a potentially disruptive technology for the development of a new class of immunotherapeutics that are activated in selected microenvironments within the body, such as those indicative of cancerous tumors. CABs can be generated in several different formats including naked monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), antibody drug conjugates, immune checkpoint inhibitors, bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells.
“BioAtla’s strategy is to broadly pursue novel therapeutic products based on our patented CAB and other proprietary technologies,” said Jay M. Short, Ph.D., president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of BioAtla. “China is an immensely important opportunity for CABs and we are excited to be working with Sinobioway with its demonstrated commitment and strong capabilities to execute and to fulfill our mutual goals. We will continue to build upon our drug development experience to pursue the potential of the CAB platform for our collaboration with Sinobioway, as well as for our collaboration with Pfizer and for our portfolio of proprietary CAB product candidates.”
About Conditionally Active Biologics (CABs)
Conditionally Active Biologic proteins are generated using BioAtla’s proprietary protein discovery, evolution and expression technologies. These proteins can be mAbs, enzymes and other proteins designed with functions dependent on changes in microphysiological conditions (e.g., pH level, oxidation, temperature, pressure, presence of certain ions, hydrophobicity and combinations thereof) both outside and inside cells.
Studies have shown that cancerous tumors create highly specific conditions at their site that are not present in normal tissue. These cancerous microenvironments are primarily a result of the well understood unique glycolytic metabolism associated with cancer cells, referred to as the Warburg Effect. CAB-designed mAbs can be programmed to deliver their therapeutic payload and/or recruit the immune response in specific and selected locations and conditions within the body. CABs have the potential to increase safety because they are designed to be active only in the presence of a particular cellular microenvironment thereby preferentially binding to their intended target protein in the area of disease. In addition, the activation is reversible and can repeatedly switch ‘on and off’ should the CAB move from a diseased to a normal cellular microenvironment and vice versa, thereby further reducing chances the CAB would bind to the same protein located in healthy tissue or in other parts of the body and cause undesirable toxicity.
BioAtla believes CABs can facilitate higher dosing, the development of effective, non-immunogenic drugs, and the use of targets that are validated for cancer cells but traditionally considered too prevalent among normal cells to be used safely in current drug therapies. This could open a potentially rich range of targets for CABs that cannot be addressed using existing technologies.
About Beijing Sinobioway Group Company, Limited
Sinobioway was founded in 1992 and is one of the three main industrial groups affiliated with Peking University. Sinobioway is mainly engaged in bioeconomy system establishment and bio-industry development. It primarily invests in biomedicine, bioagriculture, bioenergy, bioenvironment, bioservices, biomanufacturing and biointelligence. Biologic therapeutics is a particular focus of Sinobioway in its plans to develop and commercialize new medicines. Sinobioway is constructing a large biologics production facility, with a long-term capability goal of 100 production lines, in the planned 20 billion RMB bio-economic zone under construction in Hefei.