NEW YORK – AbbVie has expanded its option and license agreement with the nonprofit Calibr-Skaggs Institute for Innovative Medicines, the drug development arm of La Jolla, California-based Scripps Research, the organizations said Tuesday.
As part of the agreement, AbbVie will maintain exclusive access to Calibr-Skaggs' switchable CAR-T (sCAR-T) platform for up to five years, during which it plans to develop potential new autologous cell therapies for solid tumor targets, as well as an option to explore the applicability of the platform in autoimmune diseases.
AbbVie also has the option to license existing cell therapy programs being developed for hematological and solid tumors at Calibr-Skaggs.
Under the terms of the deal, AbbVie will pay Calibr-Skaggs an upfront license fee of an undisclosed amount. Calibr-Skaggs is also eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties.
Calibr-Skaggs' sCAR-T platform is designed to control activation of modified CAR-T cells using an antibody-based "switch" that binds to antigens on tumor cells.
"We are dedicated to pursuing innovation that offers a potential solution to existing treatment challenges in oncology and immunology," AbbVie VP and Global Head of Discovery Research Jonathon Sedgwick said in a statement. "Unlike traditional CAR-T cell therapies, Calibr-Skaggs' innovative approach may offer enhanced control and precision for activating CAR-Ts, thus potentially reducing adverse effects of existing CAR T-cell therapies."