Biocon and Equillium Inc. expand license agreement for itolizumab

Biotechnology major Biocon and US-based biotechnology firm Equillium Inc on Thursday said they have expanded exclusive licensing agreement for itolizumab to include Australia and New Zealand.

Equillium had originally secured exclusive rights to develop and commercialise Biocon's novel biologic, itolizumab, for the US and Canada markets in May 2017, the companies said in a joint statement.

The companies have expanded their collaboration and license agreement for itolizumab to grant Equillium exclusive rights for developing and commercialising itolizumab in Australia and New Zealand, it added.

"Biocon is pleased with the development progress of itolizumab achieved by Equillium so far and has agreed to include Australia and New Zealand within the scope of the licensing agreement," Biocon CEO and Joint MD Siddharth Mittal said.

Biocon had partnered with Equillium in 2017, for itolizumab, to develop it for a wide range of autoimmune disorders, the statement said.

"We are pleased to deepen our relationship with Biocon by expanding our licensing agreement for itolizumab," Equillium President and Chief Business Officer Bruce Steel said.

Itolizumab is a novel first-in-class humanized anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody, which Biocon developed and launched in India under the brand name Alzumab to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in 2013, the statement said.

Shares of Biocon Ltd closed at Rs 293 per scrip on BSE, up 0.90 per cent from its previous close.

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