Trellis Bioscience has granted MedImmune a worldwide, exclusive license to its preclinical-stage antibodies directed against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The deal could be worth up to $338 million to Trellis should a product resulting from this arrangement reach the market.
MedImmune, part of AstraZeneca, will pay Trellis an up-front cash payment as well as fees for potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. Trellis has advanced the antibodies to IND-enabling studies, and MedImmune will take over further preclinical and clinical development. MedImmune will also be responsible for worldwide commercialization, while Trellis stands to earn royalties.
MedImmune is also developing a vaccine to help prevent RSV. Additionally, last year it submitted an NDA for an anti-RSV antibody called motavizumab.
Trellis’ RSV antibodies were identified using its CellSpot discovery platform, which allows high-throughput screening of human B cells in a multiplexed format. This enables identification and isolation of rare human antibodies produced from the B cells of RSV-infected patients, the company points out. CellSpot also allows for simultaneous measurement of up to 10 antibody characteristics from single antibody-secreting cells, including probes for specificity and affinity, Trellis continues.
With CellSpot, Trellis has focused on infectious diseases. The RSV program is the most advanced, followed by antibodies against cytomegalovirus that are at the lead-optimization stage. The company is also conducting lead identification in influenza and has two antibacterial programs at the target-validation stage.