AbbVie to advance TL1A antibody for IBD

The new, potentially multi-billion-dollar deal will help bring a next-generation therapy to patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an autoimmune condition.

IBD AbbVie

AbbVie and FutureGen Biopharmaceutical (Beijing) Co., Ltd. have made a license agreement, whereby AbbVie will develop, manufacture and commercialise a next generation TL1A antibody for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

FG-M701 is a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting TL1A. This target plays a role in inflammatory autoimmune diseases.

While AbbVie is set to advance the monoclonal antibody through development and beyond, the treatment is currently in preclinical development.

As part of the license agreement, FutureGen will receive $150 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments. Moreover, the company will be eligible for a further $1.56 billion in clinical development, regulatory and commercial milestones, according to AbbVie and FutureGen.

Treating IBD

FG-M701 is a potential best-in-class treatment when compared to first-generation TL1A antibodies”

The parties shared that the antibody FG-M701 is a potential best-in-class treatment when compared to first-generation TL1A antibodies. For instance, the aim is for FG-M701 to provide higher efficacy and reduce the frequency of dosing required when used as a treatment for IBD.

“We are very pleased to partner with AbbVie,” commented Zhaoyu Jin, PhD, founder and Chief Executive Officer of FutureGen. “We believe that AbbVie is a great partner…to realising FG-M701’s therapeutic potential and rapidly advancing this therapy for patients suffering from IBD.”

“The prevalence of IBD continues to increase, and many people living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease do not respond to current therapies,” remarked Jonathon Sedgwick, PhD, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Discovery Research, AbbVie.

AbbVie’s acquisitions and developments

In December 2023, AbbVie agreed a $10 billion oncology acquisition, gaining rights to the first antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) approved in ovarian cancer.

The pharma company announced another acquisition a week later, stating that it planned to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics for $8.7bn. As part of the deal, AbbVie would gain rights to assets in Cerevel’s neuroscience portfolio.

In a more recent development, AbbVie decided on its new CEO, Robert Michael. He is set to begin his new executive role at the start of next month.