Melbourne, Australia’s CSL Limited and Vancouver, Canada’s Vitaeris Inc. are undertaking a joint venture to advance clazakizumab as a potential aid in preventing organ transplant rejection.
The arrangement stipulates that Vitaeris will manage the project up to and including Phase III trials, receiving $15 million from CSL as well as compensation for research and development over the next few years. Additionally, CSL will have an option to acquire Vitaeris with royalties for clazakizumab’s creating firm, Alder BioPharmaceuticals, according to a press release.
“CSL is committed to developing therapies for patients with rare and life-threatening conditions,” CSL Limited’s chief scientific officer, Professor Andrew Cuthbertson, said in the release. “Vitaeris’ transplant rejection program is complementary to CSL’s current development activities in solid organ transplant. This is an exciting strategic alliance in an important area of unmet clinical need.”
Clazakizumab is a humanized, monoclonal antibody that works by inhibiting Interleukin-6, which is largely responsible for inflammatory reaction to organ transplants. Clazakizumab has been developed to prevent cytotoxicity in patients and previously was observed to perform well in clinical trials involving over 1,000 subjects, scoring adequately in efficacy, safety and tolerability.
“This partnership enables Vitaeris to maintain autonomy in defining our research strategy and conducting clinical development of clazakizumab,” Kevin Chow, Vitaeris president and CEO, said in the release. “It aligns our company with CSL’s global leadership in immunology and leverages our shared goal to transform healthcare for solid organ transplant recipients.”