Corbus Pharmaceuticals Expands Pipeline with Two New mAbs

In the Lab eNewsletter, Pharmaceutical Technology's In the Lab eNewsletter 07-07-2021, Volume 16, Issue 7

Corbus Pharmaceuticals has licensed two integrin-targeting mAbs, expanding its therapeutics pipeline into inflammatory, fibrotic, and metabolic diseases as well as cancer.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings has expanded its therapeutics pipeline with the addition of two new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), CRB-601 and CRB-602, that target integrins to inhibit activation of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ). This new integrin program, acquired under two exclusive licensing agreements and added to the company’s existing endocannabinoid system program, expands Corbus’ immunology pipeline for inflammatory, fibrotic, and metabolic diseases as well as cancer. Corbus expects to have four compounds in addition to lenabasum in Phase I testing in 2022.

Under the combined terms of the licensing agreements, Corbus will pay $2 million upfront and will make potential development and sales milestone payments totaling up to $206 million as well as pay low single-digit royalties on sales, the company stated in a June 1, 2021 press release.

CRB-601 was rationally designed by Stephen Nishimura and his colleagues at the University of California San Francisco. It is potent at picomolar concentrations in inhibiting activation of TGFβ. The parent mAb of CRB-601, C6D4, has single agent activity as well as synergistic activity when combined with an anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) mAb in syngeneic mouse tumor models. Corbus plans to develop CRB-601 for treatment of solid tumors in combination with existing therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors.

CRB-602 was developed by Panorama Research, a privately-owned biomedical research and development holding company, to specifically inhibit both avb6 and avb8, integrins that have been implicated in fibrotic diseases and in cancers of epithelial cell origin. Corbus believes that targeting both integrins at once is a rational approach to treating fibrotic diseases and carcinomas, the company stated the press release.

“We look forward to a strong partnership with Corbus and hope to see our mAb make a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients all over the world,” said Anthony Francis, executive director of Technology Management at UCSF Innovation Ventures, in the press release.

“Corbus is committed to developing new medicines to improve the lives of people who need them,” stated Yuval Cohen, PhD, CEO of Corbus, in the press release. “We believe these two new integrin-targeting mAbs offer a promising approach to inhibiting TGFβ, fit well with our expertise in immunology, and diversify and expand our pipeline. We plan to advance up to four new programs into the clinic next year and have the capital and resources to do so.”

Source: Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings