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12:00 AM
Mar 02, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

More freedom to deal

With nondilutive cash at a premium, Xencor Inc. is ramping up a partnering campaign built on data that allows the company to expand its XmAb technology into a broader swath of disease areas. The company reached a deal with CSL Ltd. last week, expects to announce a deal with Pfizer Inc. this week, and aims to disclose another soon.

Before last year, according to President and CEO Bassil Dahiyat, the primary focus of Xencor's XmAb antibody optimization technology was the enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) provided by its engineered Fc domains.

The platform allowed Xencor to sign a number of deals - with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Genentech Inc., Johnson & Johnson, PDL BioPharma Inc., Roche and the MedImmune Inc. unit of AstraZeneca plc. But the biotech worried the technology's value would be diluted if it were licensed to too many partners for too many targets.

Indeed, all the deals were signed by the end of 2005. "We did taper our deal activity a...

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