AbbVie, located in Chicago, and Cugene, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, have formed a partnership to research medicines for autoimmune diseases and cancer. The arrangement focuses on a worldwide licence option for CUG252, a possible best-in-class Treg-selective IL-2 mutein, as well as additional new IL-2 muteins.
Cugene’s CUG252 is an IL-2 mutein that selectively activates and increases immunosuppressive Treg (T regulatory) cells while reducing unwanted IL-2 activity in other cells that express IL-2 receptors. It would be for the treatment of autoimmune illnesses. The medication is currently being tested on healthy volunteers in a Phase I trial. They are using design and engineering techniques to make CUG252 by adjusting interaction with the major IL-2 receptors, Cugene’s chief executive officer, Dr. Luke Li, M.D., confirmed. They are also developing precision engineering tools to develop immune treatments with compelling target biology, such as the cancer-targeted cytokine-based TILKine and VitoKine multiproduct platforms.
AbbVie will pay Cugene $48.5 million upfront as part of the agreement. Cugene will also be entitled to different milestones, a licencing option payment, and graded royalties if AbbVie chooses the option. Cugene will conduct a Phase Ib trial in autoimmune and inflammatory illness patients. If AbbVie chooses to exercise the option, it will be liable for all future clinical research, production, and commercialization. Cugene estimates the asset has the ability to address a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, according to Li.
It is crucial to underline that the engagement with AbbVie is centred on autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, he continued. Cugene is also working on creating cancer medications. The team is using molecular simulation to develop compounds that can revive tumor-infiltrated fatigued T cells with great selectivity and efficacy at specific tumour locations. These new compounds are intended for tumour destruction that is both effective and long-lasting.
In a statement, Li expanded on his thoughts about the cooperation. He remarked that they are delighted to join with AbbVie, a global pioneer in the discovery and commercialization of breakthrough immunology medicines. With their commitment to R&D, significant therapeutic area expertise, and global resources, AbbVie is a great partner for CUG252’s therapeutic value for patients who suffer from autoimmune disorders.