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Pfizer has struck a research and licensing agreement with Belgium biopharmaceutical company Imcyse to develop treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using Imotopes - Imcyse’s platform of immunotherapeutics based on synthetic peptides.
The US multinational announced on Wedneday 3 February that it will lead the clinical development and commercialisation of the Imotope RA programme once it is out of the initial development phase.
Imcyse will receive an undisclosed upfront payment in cash and equity purchases for the agreement, with a further promise of up to $180 million in milestone payments.
Mike Vincent, Pfizer’s CSO of inflammation & immunology, will join Imcyse’s advisory board as part of the deal.
“I am very pleased to be joining the scientific advisory board of Imcyse and for Pfizer to join in the development of the Imotope technology in the field of RA,” Vincent said. “Pfizer is committed to addressing the needs of patients in Rheumatology, and the Imcyse technology platform offers a unique scientific approach that we look forward to exploring further.”
The two companies previously collaborated on research programmes, having signed a similar agreement to develop an Imotope in 2017. The success of that programme led to the companies to collaborate once more for potential RA treatment.
Denis Bedoret, Imcyse CEO, commented: “This license agreement constitutes a great endorsement and a sign of confidence in our Imotope technology platform from one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world.
“We are excited to expand our successful collaboration to develop Imotopes for RA, a prevalent autoimmune disorder. It is our ultimate goal to develop curative treatments for autoimmune disorders for the benefit of patients worldwide. For diseases such as RA, this can be best accomplished with the help of partners such as Pfizer.”
Imcyse has advanced Imotope treatment for type-1 diabetes to phase 2 of the development process and plans to commence clinical trials for multiple sclerosis by 2022.
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Pfizer, Imotope, Imcyse, immunotherapeutics