Crescendo and China’s Zai Labs Enters into Psoriasis Drug Deal

June 1, 2018  Source: Ddu 278

U.K. biotech Crescendo Biologics has recently signed a partnership for its slimline antibody-like drug candidates lying outside its core cancer focus. A few weeks after closing a USD 70 million second-round financing, the Cambridge based biotech has said that Zai Lab of China has taken a global license for an undisclosed drug with applications spanning inflammatory diseases, specifically psoriasis. Clinical trials have been planned for next year.

This is the second partnership of the firm, the first outside oncology. It has a USD 790 million collaboration signed in 2016 with drugmaker Takeda of Japan. The deal with Zai Lab is the first for Crescendo to involve a specific pipeline asset. The deal with Takeda was more of a platform agreement giving it the required confidence to collaborate with other programs in oncology.

A lot of information is not readily available on the Zai Lab project presently. Like the entire pipeline of Crescendo, the drug finds its origins in the transgenic mouse model of the biotech for creating building blocks based on stable human antibody VH domains. They can then be combined into drug candidates called Humabodies which are smaller than regular immunoglobulin G-based antibodies and can bind to multiple targets.

By Ddu