Achaogen and Crystal Bioscience Enter into Collaboration and License Agreement to Identify and Develop Antibodies for Multiple Targets

Collaboration to Leverage the Crystal Platform to Discover Unique Antibodies Against Multiple Novel Targets

Print
| Source: Achaogen, Inc.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and EMERYVILLE, Calif., May 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibacterials addressing multi-drug resistant (MDR) gram-negative infections, and Crystal Bioscience, Inc. (Crystal Bioscience), an antibody discovery company with a patented chicken-based discovery platform “powered by evolution,” today announced that they have entered into a multiyear Collaboration and License Agreement to discover unique monoclonal antibodies against multiple targets. Achaogen has research and early development programs that are currently focused on discovering and developing novel medicines for serious infections caused by MDR gram-negative bacterial pathogens, including antibacterial monoclonal antibodies.

Achaogen and Crystal Bioscience will collaborate on the discovery of monoclonal antibodies against multiple targets of therapeutic interest to Achaogen. Crystal Bioscience will conduct the initial discovery work with its chicken antibody platform, including its genetically-engineered chicken producing human antibodies and its proprietary high-throughput single B cell interrogation system (the patented Gel Encapsulated Microenvironment (GEM) assay). Achaogen has agreed to provide applicable technology access fees, research funding, development milestones and royalty payments to Crystal Bioscience, and will have the right to develop and commercialize the antibodies discovered through this collaboration.

“This agreement with Crystal Bioscience expands our discovery capabilities as the chicken is able to generate antibodies to epitopes that are not normally recognized by the mammalian immune system,” said Lee Swem, Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Research at Achaogen. “Our goal is to leverage Crystal’s approach to generate therapeutic antibody candidates with differentiated biological activity, while also improving the speed of moving product candidates from discovery to development.”

“We are very pleased to work with Achaogen, a proven leader in the antibacterial space,” said Bill Harriman, Ph.D., M.B.A., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Crystal Bioscience. “Applying Crystal’s discovery platforms to Achaogen’s targets capitalizes on our ability to mine the unique repertoire of antibodies in immunized chickens to create novel panels of fully human monoclonal antibodies against antigens that have been historically difficult to access with conventional approaches.”

About Achaogen’s Antibacterial Discovery and Development Programs
Achaogen’s research and early development initiatives are focused on discovering and developing novel medicines for serious infections caused by MDR pathogens including Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The Company’s innovative antibacterial antibody program aims to generate antibodies that can treat infections caused by MDR gram-negative pathogens. In addition, the Company is pursuing an advanced series of LpxC inhibitors that are active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, supported by up to $5 million in funding from a contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

About Achaogen
Achaogen is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel antibacterials to treat MDR gram-negative infections. Achaogen is developing plazomicin, Achaogen’s lead product candidate, for the treatment of serious bacterial infections due to MDR Enterobacteriaceae, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Achaogen’s plazomicin program is funded in part with a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Plazomicin is the first clinical candidate from Achaogen’s gram-negative antibiotic discovery engine, and Achaogen has other programs in early and late preclinical stages focused on other MDR gram-negative infections. For more information, please visit www.achaogen.com.

About Crystal Bioscience
Crystal Bioscience is a privately held company that was founded in 2008 to develop a world-class therapeutic antibody discovery engine using chickens. Its platform is "powered by evolution," exploiting the large phylogenetic distance between mammals and birds to generate a diverse array of antibodies to human targets that have proven intractable in mammalian and other discovery platforms. Crystal’s platform provides the unique ability to isolate monoclonal antibodies from immunized chickens, and can screen simultaneously for specificity and biological activity. It has led to the discovery of bioactive monoclonals directed against difficult targets, including G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. Chicken antibodies often recognize both human and mouse orthologs, which can simplify early stages of drug development where mouse disease models are used. The depth of screening provided by Crystal’s GEM assay in combination with the breadth of the antibody repertoire in immunized birds provides access to an unparalleled source of affinity matured antibodies with therapeutic potential.  Crystal’s antibody discovery platforms are protected by a suite of patents and know-how that are shared with the biomedical research community through collaborative agreements.  Current collaborators include academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, large pharma and biotechnology companies.

Achaogen Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, Achaogen’s expectations regarding (i) the aim of the collaboration with Crystal to discover unique monoclonal antibodies against multiple targets, (ii) the focus of the collaboration with Crystal on the discovery of monoclonal antibodies against multiple targets of therapeutic interest to Achaogen, (iii) Crystal’s initial discovery work with its chicken antibody platform under the collaboration agreement with Achaogen, (iv) Achaogen’s goal to leverage Crystal’s approach to generate therapeutic antibody candidates with differentiated biological activity, while also improving the speed of moving product candidates from discovery to development, (v) Achaogen’s aim to generate antibodies that can treat infections caused by MDR gram-negative pathogens, (vi) Achaogen’s pursuit of an advanced series of LpxC inhibitors that are active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and (vii) Achaogen’s right to develop and commercialize the antibodies discovered through this collaboration. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause Achaogen's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the preclinical and clinical development process; the risks and uncertainties of the regulatory approval process; the risks and uncertainties of commercialization and gaining market acceptance; risks and uncertainties as to Achaogen's ability to raise additional capital to support the development of its programs; uncertainties regarding the availability of adequate third-party coverage and reimbursement for newly approved products; Achaogen's reliance on third parties to conduct certain preclinical studies and all of its clinical trials; Achaogen's reliance on third-party contract manufacturing organizations to manufacture and supply its product candidates and certain raw materials used in the production thereof; Achaogen's dependence on its President and Chief Executive Officer; risks and uncertainties related to the acceptance of government funding for certain of Achaogen's programs; risk of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Achaogen's patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Achaogen's proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies and product candidates. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Achaogen's business in general, see Achaogen's current and future reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, and its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015. Achaogen does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

Achaogen Contacts:
Hans Vitzthum, Investors
212.915.2568
hans@lifesciadvisors.com

Denise Powell, Media
510.703.9491
denise@redhousecomms.com

Crystal Bioscience Contact:
Rob Etches, President and CEO, Crystal Bioscience, Inc.
510.250.7798
RobEtches@CrystalBioscience.com