Adimab Adds Genentech, Lilly, and Human Genome Sciences to Growing List of Partners

Xconomy Boston — 

Adimab has made its name for assembling a high-profile roster of Big Pharma partners that use its technology to discover new antibody drugs. Today, the Lebanon, NH-based company is announcing a new batch of partners—Genentech, Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), and Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI)—which add greater heft to co-founder and CEO Tillman Gerngross’s argument that his firm has vastly improved the way antibody drugs are discovered.

Adimab, which co-founded by Gerngross and Dane Wittrup of MIT in 2007, says it has now struck 15 antibody discovery agreements, up from five at the end of last year. Not all of its partners have agreed to be named, but the firm’s yeast-based system for discovering fully human antibodies has now attracted collaborations with the U.S. drug giant Merck (NYSE:MRK), Novartis, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Roche, in addition to the latest trio of partnerships being disclosed today.

Adimab’s collaborators are seeking an edge in the competitive field of antibody drug discovery, and the startup’s system has shown it can produce quality antibody candidates against specific disease targets in shorter timeframes than traditional methods. “They are all looking for something better and more competitive, and right now we are the ones that are offering that,” Gerngross says. Antibody therapies already generate about $25 billion in annual sales and the rate of growth in that market has outpaced that of traditional small molecule drugs.

With Genentech, Adimab now has a collaboration with the most successful developer of antibody drugs in the world, Gerngross says. The South San Francisco company, the U.S. unit of Switzerland-based Roche, markets some of the best-selling antibody drugs on the planet such as the blockbuster cancer treatments … Next Page »

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