ResearchGame-Changing Cancer Treatment: AbbVie and Umoja Biopharma Partner Up

Game-Changing Cancer Treatment: AbbVie and Umoja Biopharma Partner Up

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North Chicago, USA- Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie and early clinical-stage biotech company Umoja Biopharma are teaming up for a groundbreaking venture to develop in-situ generated CAR-T cell therapy candidates in oncology. The collaboration involves two exclusive options and license agreements, leveraging Umoja’s innovative VivoVecTM platform.

Moreover, The first agreement provides AbbVie with an exclusive option to license Umoja’s CD19-directed in-situ generated CAR-T cell therapy candidates, including the promising UB-VV111. Currently, in the crucial IND-enabling phase, UB-VV111 is Umoja’s lead clinical program for hematologic malignancies. The second agreement outlines a collaborative effort to develop up to four additional in-situ generated CAR-T cell therapy candidates, targeting specific discovery targets chosen by AbbVie.

“As we continue to strengthen our oncology portfolio, we believe that in-situ CAR-T cell therapy represents a paradigm shift utilizing genetic medicine concepts,” said Jonathon Sedgwick, Ph.D., vice president and global head of discovery research at AbbVie. “We look forward to working with Umoja’s team to advance next-generation in-situ CAR-T therapies, and potentially expand the patient populations and indications benefitting from conventional CAR-T approaches.”

Umoja’s VivoVecTM gene delivery platform is at the forefront of these advancements. Combining third-generation lentiviral vector gene delivery with a unique T-cell targeting and activation surface complex, the platform enables cells within the body to produce their own cancer-fighting CAR-T cells in vivo. Additionally, This method addresses challenges associated with traditional CAR-T approaches, eliminating the need for external modification, and reducing time delays.

“AbbVie is an ideal partner for Umoja given their broad expertise in development and commercialization of novel therapeutics in hematology, oncology, and beyond,” said David Fontana, Ph.D., chief operating, and business officer at Umoja.

“By bringing together AbbVie’s like-minded pursuit of addressing patient unmet needs with our investments in vector biology and fully owned commercial-scale manufacturing, we look forward to progressing multiple VivoVec drug candidates into the clinic in the coming years,” added Andrew Scharenberg, M.D., co-founder and chief executive officer at Umoja.

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Furthermore, The agreements involve upfront payments and an equity investment from AbbVie to Umoja. Umoja stands to receive up to $1.44 billion in aggregate for option exercise fees, development, and regulatory milestones, with potential additional sales-based milestones and tiered royalties on worldwide net sales for both agreements combined. Also, This partnership is a major step toward developing advanced in-situ CAR-T treatments that will help more people.

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