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The Wistar Institute and Harbour BioMed Join Forces to Advance Novel Antibody Therapies for Cancer and Infectious Diseases

PHILADELPHIA, PA, CAMBRIDGE, MA and SHANGHAI, CHINA — (June 4, 2018) — The Wistar Institute and Harbour BioMed announce that they have entered into a multiyear, multifaceted research collaboration to co-discover novel antibodies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. 

This strategic collaboration will leverage Wistar’s fundamental research expertise in cancer biology and immunology with Harbour BioMed’s innovative H2L2 platform for generating fully human monoclonal antibodies directed against unique targets. Wistar and Harbour BioMed will work together to select targets, generate and validate novel antibodies against tumor and infectious antigens. This collaboration is a milestone-driven endeavor, with the collective goal of generating commercially viable therapeutic candidates. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“This partnership embodies Wistar’s philosophy of establishing collaborations that operate in the early stages of the discovery process, in order to accelerate the advancement of the high-risk, high-reward preclinical drug discoveries,” said Heather Steinman, Ph.D., MBA, vice president for Business Development and executive director of Technology Transfer at Wistar. 

The agreement will support the research and development of numerous antibody discovery programs per year. Wistar and Harbour BioMed have established a joint steering committee to facilitate the advancement of simultaneous programs towards the end goal of moving new therapeutic candidates rapidly into the clinic. David B. Weiner, Ph.D., executive vice president and director of the Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center at Wistar, will be playing an integral role in overseeing Wistar’s scientific efforts in the collaboration.

“Combining Harbour BioMed’s next generation human antibody platform technology with Wistar’s core strengths in early stage research and discovery is an innovative industry-academia collaboration specifically designed to rapidly move attractive therapeutic candidates into the next phase of clinical development,” said Mai-Jing Liao, Ph.D., MBA, senior vice president, Business Development and Portfolio Management at Harbour BioMed. “We are pleased to be working with The Wistar Institute and look forward to opening new scientific avenues together.” 

“Collaborating with the world’s leading academic institutions such as Wistar is an integral part of our strategy to build truly innovative product portfolio at Harbour. Drug candidates derived from this exciting collaboration will enhance our ability to be competitive at the global level and to better fulfill unmet medical needs for patients worldwide,” said Jingsong Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman & CEO at Harbour BioMed.

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The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. Wistar’s Business Development Team is dedicated to advancing Wistar Science and Technology Development through creative partnerships. wistar.org.

Harbour BioMed is a global biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing innovative therapeutics for oncology and immunological diseases. The company's discovery and development programs are built around its two patented transgenic mouse platforms for therapeutic antibody discovery. The company is building its proprietary pipeline through its innovative internal discovery programs, and through in-licensing clinical stage assets that strategically fit its internal portfolio. Harbour BioMed also licenses the platforms to companies and academic institutions through its Harbour Antibodies subsidiary.  www.harbourbiomed.com.

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