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Sevion, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Janssen collaborate for antibody discovery

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sevion Therapeutics, which discovers, develops and acquires next-generation biologics, is collaborating with CNA Development, an affiliate of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, to discover antibodies using Sevion’s spatially addressed library platform.

The collaboration, facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in California, will include discovery of antibodies against multiple targets in several therapeutic areas. Sevion and Janssen will jointly conduct research on antibodies discovered by Sevion, and Janssen will have an option to an exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize candidates resulting from the collaboration.

Sevion will receive an up-front payment and research support payments for activities conducted in collaboration with Janssen. For candidates licensed by Janssen, Sevion would be eligible to receive payments upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones potentially totaling up to $125 million as well as low single digit royalties on product sales.

Unlike traditional antibody drug discovery methods, such as display methods or immunization, the Sevion platform enables discovery of antibodies against proteins that cannot be easily purified in functional form. Sevion’s addressed libraries allow screening directly on the cell surface, opening difficult transmembrane targets to antibody discovery.

Vaughn Smider, chief scientific officer of Sevion, said, “We believe our ability to identify antibodies against unpurified targets, particularly multispanning membrane proteins, and with different affinities and activities, will lead to breakthroughs in treatment for patients with serious disease.”

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