Daiichi Sankyo and Amplimmune have signed a research partnership for the development of AMP-110, a B7-H4 fusion protein, to treat autoimmune diseases.
The collaboration will focus on developing AMP-110, which works by blocking inflammatory T cell differentiation, as immune modulation therapy for autoimmune diseases.
The companies anticipate initiating a Phase I study of AMP-110 for the treatment of an autoimmune disease indication in the first half of 2013.
Daiichi Sankyo senior executive officer and R&D global head Dr Glenn Gormley said immune modulation therapy has the potential to meet the unmet medical need of autoimmune disease.
"As a Global Pharma Innovator, identifying and meeting unmet medical needs is an important part of Daiichi Sankyo's mission. We are excited to start with the first trial," Gormley said.
As a part of the deal, Daiichi will pay an undisclosed option fee to Amplimmune in addition to approximately $50m for past and planned research and development costs for AMP-110, and additional program milestone payments.
Daiichi will also fund for future development through a Phase II Proof of Concept (POC) study, with which it will gain an exclusive option to acquire the AMP-110 program.
Amplimmune will take care of manufacturing clinical supplies, regulatory filings and clinical trials through a POC study in autoimmunity.
The companies expect to carry out further research to evaluate the characteristic of AMP-110 and to identify potential biomarkers to predict patient response to AMP-110.
Amplimmune president and chief executive officer Michael Richman said; "This unique transaction allows Amplimmune to collaborate with an important and well-respected partner and positions the program for an acquisition that will provide significant value for both Daiichi Sankyo and our shareholders."
Daiichi Sankyo will be responsible for all future development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities if it exercises the exclusive option to acquire the AMP-110 programme.