Pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila on Wednesday said it has entered into a drug development and commercialisation alliance with Germany’s Pieris AG for a new therapeutic protein molecule branded Anticalin.

The collaboration combines Pieris’ drug discovery and early development capabilities with Zydus’ expertise in biologics development, regulatory affairs and biologics manufacturing, the company said in a statement.

“Under the terms of agreement, Zydus will take the lead in advancing Anticalin drug candidates through preclinical development and into clinical development...,” it added.

Zydus has been granted exclusive marketing rights in India and several other emerging markets, while Pieris retains exclusive marketing rights in key developed markets.

Commenting on the development, Zydus Group chairman and Managing Director R. Patel said: “Collaborating with established biotech companies on differentiated drug candidates is an important component of Zydus’ ongoing transformation into an innovation-led global healthcare provider and we are pleased to add Anticalin to our novel biologics pipeline.”

Pieris CEO Stephen Yoder said: “... this collaboration will allow Pieris to unlock value on a global scale on a cost-effective manner, significantly expanding the number of proprietary Anticalin programmes we can advance into clinical trials.”

The two companies said the most advanced programme in their collaboration is PRS-110, a target which is increasingly becoming validated across a broad spectrum of tumours.

Through the collaboration, the companies seek to develop candidates to proof-of-concept and will explore out-licensing opportunities in Pieris’ territories.

“The companies will share licensing revenues on mutually agreed upon terms,” the statement added.

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