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CytomX and AbbVie Announce Strategic Collaboration for Probody Drug Conjugates

Apr 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) --

- Companies to Jointly Develop and Commercialize Probody Drug Conjugates Directed Against CD71

- AbbVie to Receive the Right to License Probody Drug Conjugates for up to Two Additional Undisclosed Targets

- CytomX to Receive $30 Million Upfront Payment

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AbbVie ABBV, -0.44% and CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. CTMX, +1.41% today announced that they have entered into a collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize Probody(TM) Drug Conjugates against CD71, also known as transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1). CD71 is highly expressed in a number of solid and hematologic cancers and has attractive molecular properties for efficient delivery of cytotoxic payloads to tumor cells. Probody therapeutics are designed to take advantage of unique conditions in the tumor microenvironment to enhance the tumor-targeting features of an antibody and reduce drug activity in healthy tissues.

"We believe that the Probody platform provides a differentiated opportunity to combine with our strength in antibody drug conjugates," said Steve Davidsen, Ph.D., vice president, oncology drug discovery, AbbVie. "We are encouraged by the promising preclinical data that CytomX has generated for their Probody drug conjugate programs to-date and look forward to working closely with their team. This collaboration will enable us to expand our innovative pipeline in antibody drug conjugates and leverage our strength in that area to previously unexplored targets."

"This collaboration is another important step toward achieving CytomX's vision of transforming lives with safer, more effective therapies and allows us to further advance our broad pipeline of Probody therapeutics," stated Sean McCarthy, D.Phil., president and chief executive officer at CytomX. "AbbVie has demonstrated leadership in developing antibody drug conjugates and we look forward to collaborating with their team to realize the full potential of our CD71 Probody drug conjugate program and additional oncology targets."

Probody therapeutics are designed to remain inactive until they are activated by proteases in the tumor microenvironment. As a result, Probody therapeutics bind selectively to tumors and avoid binding to healthy tissue, to minimize toxicity and potentially create safer, more effective therapies. CytomX has generated preclinical data that demonstrates that Probody drug conjugates can safely and effectively target tumor antigens, such as CD71, that are not addressable by conventional antibody-drug conjugates.

Under the terms of the agreement, CytomX and AbbVie will co-develop a Probody drug conjugate against CD71, with CytomX leading pre-clinical and early clinical...


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