Amgen-Celimmune Tie Up for Autoimmune Disorder Drug - Analyst Blog

Amgen Inc.AMGN and Celimmune LLC have inked a deal for the development of an anti-IL-15 monoclonal antibody (AMG 714). Celimmune has obtained the candidate from Amgen under an exclusive license agreement.

Under the agreement, Celimmune gained the right to develop, manufacture and commercialize AMG 714 globally (except Japan). The company said that it will test one of the main hypotheses in the pathophysiology of celiac disease - IL-15 plays a central role in refractory celiac disease (RCD) and non-responsive celiac disease. Celimmune intends to initiate phase II studies on AMG 714 for the treatment of diet non-responsive celiac disease and RCD.

However, Amgen has an exclusive option to re-acquire the candidate once additional studies are completed. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

According to Celimmune, no drug has been approved to date for the treatment of celiac disease. According to the press release issued by the company, 1% of the population of the Western countries and 0.5% of the Asian population suffer from celiac disease currently.

We are positive on Celimmune's collaboration with Amgen - the agreement should be beneficial for Celimmune which gained a strong partner in Amgen, a company with expertise in the field of autoimmune diseases. The collaboration is expected to leverage Celimmune's proficiency in the field of autoimmune disorders and other immunological diseases. Moreover, Amgen's position as one of the leading biotechnology companies in the world, with extensive manufacturing, distribution and sales facilities, should pave the way for Celimmune and help expand its exposure in this market.

We remind investors that Alba Therapeutics is developing larazotide acetate for the treatment of patients suffering from celiac disease.

Amgen carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Cytokinetics, Incorporated CYTK , ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ANIP and Horizon Pharmaceuticals HZNP . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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