Lilly and ImaginAb Announce Preclinical Immuno-Oncology Collaboration
LOS ANGELES and INDIANAPOLIS, October 13, 2015 – Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and ImaginAb Inc. are pleased to announce a preclinical research collaboration to study potential novel T cell-based immuno-oncology therapies.
Per the agreement, ImaginAb will conduct preclinical research using its immune imaging agent, IAB22M2C (a clinical anti-human CD8 probe), to detect T cell trafficking, redirection and infiltration in response to Lilly oncology molecules. ImaginAb maintains full rights to its proprietary imaging agents used as part of the research project. Financial terms were not disclosed.
There is compelling research showing that pre-existing CD8-positive T cells, also known as cytotoxic T cells, are associated with favorable clinical response to anti-PD-1 therapy in melanoma. IAB22M2C is a PET-based imaging agent that detects CD8-positive T cells and provides a whole-body picture of immune response, potentially enabling better patient selection and mechanistic understanding of immune-modulating treatments.
Lilly has a robust oncology pipeline that comprises several molecules that impact the immune system, in addition to numerous other agents directly targeting the tumor, its vasculature or the surrounding microenvironment. These agents are being tested in a wide range of cancers, including breast, colorectal, gastric, skin, bladder, brain, pancreatic, liver and lung cancer.
“This collaboration demonstrates Lilly’s commitment to advancing biomarker-driven cancer therapies,” noted Greg Plowman, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of oncology research at Lilly. “ImaginAb has developed a highly specific and novel approach for visualizing a patient’s immune response, and we are excited to explore applications of this technology as part of our immuno-oncology drug development efforts.”
“Selecting the proper patients for immunotherapy continues to be a major challenge for the new wave of cancer therapies coming to market,” said Roger Crystal, M.D., chief business officer for ImaginAb. “Same-day CD8 imaging holds tremendous potential in helping to guide treatment for cancer immunotherapies, and we look forward to pioneering this approach with Lilly.”
ImaginAb Inc. is an immune imaging company focused on providing actionable insight into patient selection and treatment progress for cancer immunotherapy, enabling truly personalized medicine. ImaginAb engineers antibody fragments called minibodies that maintain the exquisite specificity of full-length antibodies while remaining inert in the body. Used with widely available PET scan technology, these novel minibodies illuminate high-value molecular targets, providing physicians with a whole-body picture of immune activity. ImaginAb is also advancing a best-in-class imaging agent to improve prostate cancer management and patient outcomes. ImaginAb’s products have the potential to improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. For more information about ImaginAb’s pipeline and technology, visit www.imaginab.com.
About Lilly Oncology
For more than fifty years, Lilly has been dedicated to delivering life-changing medicines and support to people living with cancer and those who care for them. Lilly is determined to build on this heritage and continue making life better for all those affected by cancer around the world. To learn more about Lilly’s commitment to people with cancer, please visit www.LillyOncology.com.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at www.lilly.com and newsroom.lilly.com/social-channels. (C-LLY)
Lilly Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (as that term is defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) regarding the research collaboration between ImaginAb and Lilly. This press release reflects Lilly’s current beliefs. However, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug research, development, and commercialization. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that these pre-clinical imaging studies will achieve intended benefits. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from Lilly’s expectations, please see the company’s latest Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
 Tumeh PC et al; Nature; 515; 27th Nov 2014: 568-571
Canale Communications for ImaginAb Inc.