Cerecor licenses cytokine storm antibody from Kyowa Kirin

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

March 29, 2021 -- Cerecor has expanded an agreement with Kyowa Kirin for the exclusive worldwide rights to CERC-002, Kyowa Kirin's fully human anti-LIGHT (tumor necrosis factor superfamily member 14, TNFSF14) monoclonal antibody for all indications. Cerecor made the deal through its wholly owned subsidiary, Aevi Genomic Medicine.

CERC-002 is a first-in-class anti-LIGHT monoclonal antibody. LIGHT, a member of the TNF family of cytokines, is homologous to lymphotoxin and exhibits an inducible expression. It competes with the herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoprotein D for binding to the herpesvirus entry mediator, a receptor expressed on T lymphocytes.

LIGHT is potentially important in immune responses to viral pneumonia and other inflammatory diseases. CERC-002 is currently in development for pediatric onset Crohn's disease and cytokine storm-induced COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Under the agreement, Cerecor will receive exclusive rights for the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the antibody for all indications worldwide, including the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Kyowa Kirin has an option to retain the rights in Japan. Kyowa Kirin will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Cerecor and is also eligible to receive additional regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as sales-based royalties and a share of sublicensing income.

Cerecor has also developed a validated, high-sensitivity serum/plasma free LIGHT assay in collaboration with Myriad RBM, a diagnostics company.

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