Clinical stage immuno-oncology imaging company ImaginAb has announced the signing of a multi-party collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Takeda to further the development of its CD8 ImmunoPET technology.

The collaborators will help guide an ImaginAb-sponsored clinical trial which aims to evaluate the efficacy of CD8 ImmunoPET in immuno-oncology drug development.

CB8 ImmunoPET is a CD8+ T cell immuno-PET imaging agent, currently undergoing Phase II study in an extensive collaborative network which includes partnerships with Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, Nektar and Roche.

Through its Minibody platform, CD8 ImmunoPET targets and visualises CD8+ T cells to provide highly-specific quantitative assessments of the immunological status of patients’ cancer lesions.

The technology could enable treatment to be tailored quickly and specifically to the needs of each individual patient.

ImaginAb chief executive officer Ian Wilson said: “One of our key objectives is to streamline the clinical development of next-generation cancer immunotherapies so that ultimately cancer patients have access to the best possible treatments.

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“We believe that working with global leaders in immuno-oncology will help us further develop CD8 ImmunoPET as a pharmacodynamic marker for use in drug development and, in the future, as a diagnostic and predictive test for use in hospitals.”

ImaginAb plans to generate data and early revenues through non-exclusive, licensed use of CD8 ImmunoPET in the clinical development of immunotherapies. The company eventually hopes to use the technology to develop FDA-approved diagnostic agents for routine clinical prognostic use across therapy classes.

Takeda head of oncology drug discovery Chris Arendt said: “We are excited to participate in this pre-competitive alliance, which brings together a rich network of expertise and resources to develop and evaluate an imaging tracer for CD8+ T cells.

The ability to track, both spatially and temporally, immune responses associated with novel immuno-oncology therapies and relate these to anti-tumour responses in patients has the potential to deepen our understanding of the cancer-immunity cycle and how it can be leveraged for curative intent, which is the primary focus of our oncology research efforts at Takeda.”