Alpine gets validation from Abbvie

Snippets

Abbvie wants to bolster its lupus game, and in the process has given Alpine Immune Sciences its first big pharma vote of confidence. Alpine is a Seattle-based biotech focused on antibodies against novel immune system targets, or novel ways of hitting known targets, run by Mitchell Gold, the former chief exec of the now-defunct cell therapy company Dendreon. Today’s deal with Abbvie gives Alpine $60m up front for an option over ALPN-101, a CD28/Icos antagonist MAb that had been positioned against autoimmune diseases, and had shown tolerability in a volunteer study. Abbvie now wants to pit it against systemic lupus erythematosus, but Alpine will first have to fund a phase II study; the biotech could get another $75m in milestones before a formal deal is signed, a move that would trigger a $75m exercise fee. Abbvie’s BTK inhibitor ABBV-105 is in phase II in lupus, but the Ablynx-derived vobarilizumab failed. Orencia, which acts on CD28, and the Icos ligand blocker prezalumab had unsuccessfully been studied in the disease, but Alpine says ALPN-101 is a potentiator rather than just a dual blocker of these pathways. Alpine, which listed by reverse merger in 2017, saw its stock open up 170%.

Source: Alpine presentation.

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