iBio Inc. (NYSE: IBIO) has signed a definitive exclusive global licensing agreement with RubrYc Therapeutics Inc. for RTX-003. RTX-003 is an immunotherapy candidate targeting regulatory T cells.
iBio enters commercialization agreement
The partnership includes an option of iBIO to license other antibodies developed using RubrYc’s AI-based antibody discovery platform.
iBio CEO and Chairman Tom Isett said, “We are pleased to add another promising candidate to our growing oncology R&D pipeline, and especially one with such a compelling mechanism of action. Designing an antibody that effectively binds CD25 without blocking the IL-2 signaling pathway is a widely recognized challenge, so the successful preclinical development of RTX-003 provides validation of RubrYc’s capabilities. Moving forward, we aim to replicate this discovery and development model by combining access to the RubrYc Discovery Platform with iBio’s proprietary Glycaneering and FastPharming Technologies.”
Because CD25 is highly expressed by immunosuppressive Tregs and in specific tumor cells, it has emerged as a prospective immuno-oncology target. Preclinical evidence suggests that RTX-003 specifically binds and reduces Tregs in the tumor environment without impairing immunostimulatory interleukin 2 (“IL2”) transmission to other T cells, resulting in potent anti-tumor responses. In addition, RTX-003 was found to have potent anti-tumor activity when used alone and in conjunction with checkpoint inhibitors.
iBio paid an upfront payment of $5 million for the agreement
iBio paid an upfront payment of $5.0 million to RubrYc as part of the agreements, with an extra $2.5 million pledge for December 2021. In exchange, it will gain commercialization rights for RTX-003 and options for new compounds produced utilizing RubrYc’s predictive algorithms and an ownership position. RubrYc will pre-specified compensation if IBIO-101 meets certain development milestones and net sales royalties of the molecule and other antibodies.
RubrYc CEO Isaac J. Bright said, “This partnership creates tremendous synergy with three platform technologies that together may accelerate the rapid discovery and development of next-generation immunotherapies. We look forward to our exciting new collaboration with iBio.”