IMBiologics Licenses Autoimmune Drug ‘IMB-101’ to Navigator Medicines


IMBiologics, a Korean biotech venture specializing in antibody drug development, announced on the 17th that it has entered into an out-licensing agreement with the U.S.-based Navigator Medicines for ‘IMB-101′, a dual antibody therapy for autoimmune diseases currently in Phase 1 clinical trials. IMB-101 is IMBiologics’ leading pipeline product, targeting both OX40L and TNF simultaneously, and is undergoing Phase 1 trials in the USA.

Navigator Medicines, a U.S. biotech focused on developing treatments for autoimmune diseases, is a portfolio company of the major venture capital firm RA Capital Management. The company plans to focus on developing OX40-OX40L signaling inhibitors, incorporating licenses for IMB-101 and IMB-102.

The single-dose focused Phase 1a trial is expected to complete soon, with a multiple-dose Phase 1b trial set to begin in the latter half of the year. Given its mechanism of action, IMB-101 is anticipated to become a best-in-class therapeutic option with potential applicability across various autoimmune diseases. Additionally, IMB-102, which specifically targets OX40L, was included in this agreement.

According to IMBiologics, the licensing agreement covers all territories except Asia, including Japan, and involves a non-refundable upfront payment of $20 million. The agreement could yield up to $924.75 million in milestone payments depending on development and commercialization phases, as well as royalties on net annual sales potentially reaching double digits. There are also provisions for profit sharing from third-party sublicenses, depending on the phase of development.

IMBiologics was founded in August 2020 and has since raised 20 billion KRW in a Series B funding round last year. This licensing deal marks a significant milestone achieved within just over three years of its establishment.

Stephen Thomas, CEO of Navigator Medicines, stated, “We are extremely pleased to form this partnership with IMBiologics, which is known for its exceptional development expertise and capabilities in producing top-quality OX40L-targeting antibody drugs. We are committed to continuing the development of IMB-101 and IMB-102 to swiftly deliver these necessary medications to patients.”

Ha Kyung-sik, CEO of IMBiologics, commented, “We value Navigator Medicine’s expertise and track record in the autoimmune field and look forward to working closely with them to successfully bring IMB-101 and IMB-102 to market, thereby enhancing patient lives. We are determined to set and achieve ambitious goals, maintain our commitments, and gain market trust through effective performance.”


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