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Adagene Achieves Key Milestone in Joint Venture with Exelixis

Adagene Inc., a leading biotech company renowned for its dynamic antibody-based therapies, recently achieved a significant milestone in their ongoing partnership with Exelixis. This progress revolves around the successful nomination of second SAFEbody® novel masked antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) candidates.

Adagene's Partnership with Exelixis

Adagene and Exelixis started their collaboration in 2021, aimed at developing novel masked ADC candidates using Adagene's unique SAFEbody precision masking technology. This significant milestone led to a $3 million payment to Adagene, a testament to their high-quality antibody candidates and engineering expertise.

"This milestone underscores our commitment to delivering top-notch antibody candidates to our technology licensing partners," said Peter Luo, Ph.D., Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of Adagene.

The Role of SAFEbody Technology

The SAFEbody technology, a proprietary of Adagene, plays a crucial role in solving the safety and tolerability challenges associated with many antibody therapeutics. The technology uses precision masking to shield the binding domain of the biologic therapy, ensuring improved tumor-specific targeting of antibodies while minimizing on-target off-tumor toxicity in healthy tissues.

Terms of the Collaboration Agreement

As per the collaboration agreement, Adagene received an upfront payment of $11.0 million. Exelixis has the option to nominate two targets for the development of SAFEbody candidates during the collaboration. Adagene is eligible for development and commercialization milestones, as well as royalties on net sales of products developed around each of these targets.

  • In January 2022, Adagene received a $3.0 million milestone payment from Exelixis.

  • In June 2022, Adagene received an additional upfront payment of $1.1 million.

Adagene's Global Technology Licensing Agreements

Adagene has a robust network of global technology licensing agreements. This includes a significant $2.5 billion collaboration with Sanofi announced in March 2022. Adagene is not only engaged in technology licensing collaborations but also applies its SAFEbody technology to develop candidates for its wholly-owned pipeline of transformative antibody-based therapeutics.

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Adagene and Roche's Clinical Collaboration

Adagene also has a clinical collaboration with Roche. Roche is sponsoring and conducting a randomized phase 1b/2 to evaluate the anti-CTLA-4 SAFEbody ADG126 in combination with atezolizumab and bevacizumab in first-line treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

About Adagene Inc.

Adagene Inc. (Nasdaq: ADAG) is a platform-driven, clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to transforming the discovery and development of novel antibody-based cancer immunotherapies. Adagene combines computational biology and artificial intelligence to design novel antibodies that address unmet patient needs.

SAFEbody®: A Registered Trademark

SAFEbody® is a registered trademark in the United States, China, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the European Union.

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Synapse by PatSnap is an AI-powered Connected Innovation Intelligence Platform that is built for Life Sciences Professionals. It aids in making strategic R&D decisions.

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  • Neoplasms

  • Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Adagene is committed to bringing in non-dilutive funding by leveraging its SAFEbody precision masking and dynamic antibody technologies. It's advancements in the field of antibody-based therapies are truly commendable and worth keeping an eye on.


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