Touchstone's portfolio company, Abzena plc, a life sciences group providing services and technologies enabling the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, has entered into a Master Services Agreement with a US biotech company to provide process development and manufacturing services to progress a novel antibody-drug conjugate ("ADC") towards clinical trials.
The value of the entire process development and GMP manufacturing services exceeds $5 million, with the majority of the services to be provided within the next 12 months. The services will be carried out principally by Abzena's chemistry and biomanufacturing groups in Bristol, PA and San Diego, CA.
Abzena has worked with the US-based company for a number of years, with the relationship built around Abzena's chemistry services. Following the initial chemistry development, Abzena subsequently developed a cell line that will now be used to produce the antibody at its GMP manufacturing facility. Abzena will also conduct GMP production of the ADC payload reagent and the conjugation process to create the ADC for initial clinical study.
In entering into the Master Services Agreement with Abzena, the US biotech company has selected Abzena as its preferred chemistry services and manufacturing provider for its ADC program.
John Burt, CEO of Abzena, said: "Since the expansion of Abzena's service offering into the US with two acquisitions in 2015, we have seen a number of customer relationships expand. They are using more of our services across the Group's biology, chemistry and manufacturing capabilities.
"This latest deal further consolidates our existing relationship with our customer. Drawing on Abzena's integrated service offering, this ADC can progress through the preclinical and clinical trial process, with the ultimate goal of developing a new potential treatment."