WuXi Biologics and Aravive join forces on high-affinity bispecific antibodies

The collaboration will target cancer and fibrosis and use the WuXiBody Platform

WuXi Biologics and Aravive have formed a strategic collaboration agreement granting Aravive the right to use the proprietary WuXiBody platform to develop high-affinity bispecific antibodies for a target implicated in cancer and fibrosis.

WuXi Biologics and Aravive will collaborate to discover antibodies against CCN2, a multidomain protein also known as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CCN2 was identified from a similar target discovery screen that identified the significance of the AXL/GAS6 pathway in cancer. Preclinical data identified CCN2 as important for tumour growth and progression.

WuXi Biologics will be responsible for biologics discovery, process development, and manufacturing. Aravive will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the collaboration.

"Aravive's proficiency in development of anti-cancer and fibrotic drugs and WuXi Biologics' expertise with biological discovery and manufacturing is a powerful combination," said Gail McIntyre, CEO of Aravive. "We look forward to further expanding our collaboration to identify high-affinity antibodies that can be exploited as anti-cancer and anti-fibrotic agents."

In 2018, and following the successful filing of a US Investigational New Drug application (IND) for AVB-500, WuXi Biologics and Aravive announced expansion of their biologics manufacturing collaboration based on the rapid success achieved in the process development, scale-up and cGMP manufacture of Aravive's lead drug candidate, AVB-500.

"We are glad to once again collaborate with Aravive as a trusted partner to accelerate the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologics through our innovative technology platforms," said Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics. "WuXi Biologics' proprietary antibody platforms including WuXiBody, are uniquely positioned to expedite development of novel bispecifics to benefit global patients."

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