Synthetic DNA company Twist Bioscience announced today that it has entered an antibody discovery, option and license agreement with pharma giant Bayer valued at up to $188 million. The agreement will see Twist Biopharma Solutions leverage its “Library of Libraries” to conduct antibody research against unnamed therapeutic targets, with Bayer having the option to license any antibodies discovered under this collaboration.
“Our ongoing partnership with Bayer leverages the full suite of our Twist Biopharma Solutions offering of antibody discovery services to identify the best antibodies for Bayer’s specific targets,” said Emily M. Leproust, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “By combining the scientific and technical strengths of each organization, and importantly the level of mutual trust built over several years working together, we look forward to identifying and developing new therapies in multiple disease areas to positively impact patients who need it the most.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Twist will receive payments connected with the initiation of research and will be eligible to receive fees associated with research activities. The antibody leads discovered under the collaboration that enter clinical development qualify for certain success-based clinical and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties from product sales.
Twist’s “Library of Libraries,” is a collection of synthetic antibody libraries that harnesses innovative structural and developability features to cover a wide range of antibody drug targets and was created to address specific challenges in antibody discovery. It has the potential to increase the probability of success of antibody discovery programs across indications and focus areas.
“Partnering with Twist Bioscience complements our strategy to advance breakthrough innovations based on new scientific approaches and platform technologies,” said Juergen Eckhardt, MD, a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division and head of Business Development, Licensing & Open Innovation. “Its ‘Library of Libraries’ offers an optimal design to accelerate drug discovery processes to make a meaningful impact in patients’ lives faster.”
The deal with Bayer to leverage the company’s Library of Libraries is just the latest the company has announced with pharma and biotech companies to aid in their antibody research and drug development efforts. Other similar collaboration this year include discovery deals with Ono Pharmaceuticals and Cancer Research Horizons. Earlier this year, the company announced the launch of Twist Biopharma Solutions that combined its synthetic libraries and AI machine learning with an in vivo immunization approach it gained through its acquisition of Abveris.
“By integrating our platforms into a robust service menu, we now offer premium throughput, resolution and speed to customers looking to outsource antibody discovery and optimization,” Leproust said on the launch of the new pharma-focused division in March. “When we acquired Abveris about a year ago, we knew bringing in vivo, in vitro and in silico platforms together within Twist would truly differentiate our capability to optimize and deliver development-ready antibody drug candidates for our customers, including different antibody formats (bispecific, antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), monoclonal, VHH, etc.) in multiple therapeutic areas.”