Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Zoetis Inc. today announced a five-year collaboration to research the use of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody therapeutics in animals and discover new veterinary treatments.
Under the terms of the agreement, Regeneron has granted Zoetis a license for its VelocImmune® antibody technology, which Zoetis will use to develop monoclonal antibodies modified for species-specific use in companion and livestock animals. In particular, Zoetis is exploring treatments for animals with allergic and immune-related conditions, pain, inflammatory disease and cancer. VelocImmune is Regeneron's proprietary technology in which the immune system of mice is genetically humanized, enabling the creation of fully-human and optimized antibody drug candidates. Regeneron will receive a license fee, approval and sales milestone payments and royalties on any potential veterinary treatments.
"Regeneron's VelociSuite® drug discovery and development platforms have produced many important new medicines for people with serious medical conditions," said Drew Murphy, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research at Regeneron. "This collaboration extends these valuable tools to the development of monoclonal antibodies modified for species-specific use in animals, an area we would not be exploring otherwise, and provides us with more information to develop safe and efficacious medicines for humans. We look forward to pairing our antibody expertise with Zoetis' leadership in animal health."
Regeneron will also select antibodies from its pipeline for Zoetis to evaluate in dogs and cats that have certain naturally-occurring diseases, such as osteoarthritis. Data generated using this approach can help Regeneron predict whether a pipeline therapeutic will demonstrate efficacy and safety in later human trials, in addition to providing valuable information for potential new veterinary therapeutics. Zoetis has been building expertise in its own portfolio of monoclonal antibodies for veterinary use, including the first antibody approved in the U.S. and international markets to control the clinical signs of atopic dermatitis in dogs.
"Regeneron and Zoetis share a similar passion for translating scientific insights into groundbreaking medicines," said Dr. Catherine Knupp, Executive Vice President and President, Research and Development at Zoetis. "We see significant advantages from Zoetis and Regeneron scientists sharing knowledge and know-how across animal and human health. This collaboration will enhance our internally-developed pipeline of novel monoclonal antibodies and hasten the development of therapeutics that could transform the way veterinarians treat a range of diseases in animals."