AbbVie and Cugene Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing innovative high-tech drugs in oncology and immunology for autoimmune diseases and cancer, announced a worldwide and exclusive agreement for the licensing of CUG252, a selective IL-2 T Regulatory mutein, as well as other IL-2 muteins, for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Selective IL-2 muteins may represent the biggest advance in the standard of care for patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The CUG252 molecule is the main candidate to become a new drug from Cugene. It is a selective IL-2 mutein built to activate and expand immunosuppressive Regulatory T cells, while reducing unwanted IL-2 activity in other cells, which express IL-2 receptors, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. CUG252 is in a Phase 1a study in healthy volunteers.
“AbbVie is committed to developing new therapies in immunology for patients living with complex autoimmune and inflammatory conditions who still have unmet medical needs,”
Dr. Tom Hudson , Senior Vice President, R& Dand Chief Scientific Officer, AbbVie
“We are delighted to partner with AbbVie, a global leader in the development and commercialization of innovative immune therapies”, “AbbVie is the ideal partner for the development of CUG252, due to its commitment to R&D, deep knowledge of the therapeutic area and the global resources necessary to maximize the therapeutic potential of CUG252 for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. Today’s agreement highlights the platform Cugene’s proprietary precision engineering technology that has spawned several potential drugs, including the CUG252 molecule. We look forward to working with AbbVie to transform clinical outcomes for autoimmune diseases.”
Dr Luke Li , CEO of Cugene Inc.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cugene will receive an upfront payment of $48.5 million and will also be eligible to receive payments under certain regulatory frameworks and licensing, if AbbVie exercises this right. In addition, Cugene may also receive payments for certain milestones of commercialization and staggered sales and royalties. AbbVie will have the option to exclusively license certain IL-2 muteins, including CUG252. During the option period, Cugene will conduct a Phase 1b study in patients with autoimmune/inflammatory disease. Upon exercise of the option, AbbVie will conduct all future clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization of CUG252.