business agreement handshakeSwedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ) (Sobi) has exercised its option to sign a licensing agreement with Swedish biotech company, Affibody AB, for the development of novel treatments for inflammatory diseases where interleukin-1 (IL-1) is involved.

In 2012, Sobi signed a research collaboration agreement with Affibody, with an option to enter into exclusive licensing arrangements within IL-1. The research, which has been based on Affibody’s proprietary technology, focuses on key proteins involved in the regulation of human immune and inflammatory processes.

“We are excited by the opportunities that this research collaboration offers,” says Stephen James, Vice President, Head of Drug Design and Development at Sobi. “The continued expansion of our early stage pipeline is one of our main objectives this year and this will further strengthen our presence in the inflammation field and may provide additional opportunities to address the unmet medical needs in auto-inflammatory diseases.”

“We are very pleased to sign a licensing agreement with Sobi,” says David Bejker, CEO of Affibody. “Together we have been exploring the use of the Affibody technology in the field of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and we are excited to continue this development.”

An increasing body of evidence suggests that IL-1 is a key mediator of inflammation and driver of auto-inflammatory diseases in both adults and children. This offers a good strategic fit with Sobi’s commercial focus on Inflammation as one of three key therapeutic areas, and with Sobi’s strategic biologics development competence and capabilities.