Xencor to develop novel IL-15 cytokine therapeutics with Genentech

UK biotech maintains investor confidence
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Xencor has joined forces with Roche Group member Genentech to develop and commercialise novel IL-15 cytokine therapeutics – including XmAb24306.

XmAb24306, Xencor’s most advanced preclinica cytokine programme, is an IL-15/IL-15Rα cytokine complex engineered with Xencor’s bispecific Fc domain and Xtend Fc technology.

The companies will co-develop XmAb24306 and other potential IL-15 programs, in which both will share development costs and profits.

Genentech will commercialise medicines worldwide, while Xencor has the option to co-promote in the US.

Additionally, the companies will engage in a two-year research program to discover new IL-15 drug candidates, including ones targeted to specific immune cell populations.

Genentech will pay Xencor $120 million upfront, and Xencor will be eligible to receive up to $160 million in development milestones for the XmAb24306 program and up to $180 million in development milestones for each new IL-15 drug candidate.

Bassil Dahiyat, President and CEO of Xencor, said: “A wide-ranging combination strategy will be critical to realize the potential of IL-15 bispecific cytokines such as XmAb24306, so we plan to explore our cytokines with a broad spectrum of leading commercial-stage and investigational cancer therapies.”

James Sabry, Global Head of Pharma Partnering, Roche, added: “This collaboration with Xencor will further enhance our understanding of a critical immune activation pathway and may present a potential new way to use the immune system to target cancer.”