24 April 2023 | Monday | News
-Twist Bioscience Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, today announced a collaboration with Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Naoki Okamura., “Astellas”), by which Astellas will license a suite of Twist’s VHH antibody libraries to be used by Astellas for drug discovery and development.
“We are pleased to extend our collaboration with Astellas to three agreements across two groups within the company, showcasing our ability to meet the varying needs of our customers and support their success,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “This latest collaboration with Astellas demonstrates how Twist can enable our customers to grow their pipelines both externally with our antibody discovery services and by supporting their internal discovery with our highly specific and potent antibody libraries.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Astellas will license a suite of Twist’s VHH libraries for a period of five years and will use the libraries to conduct research and development activities. Twist will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive annual maintenance fees and fees per product through payments associated with specific clinical and commercial milestones. Twist will also be eligible to receive royalty payments on product sales.
Twist VHH Antibody Libraries
Antibodies contain two variable domains, the heavy and the light chains. A VHH antibody, also known as a single domain antibody, is the antigen binding domain of the heavy chain, with three complementary determining regions (CDRs), or areas where antigens bind to the antibody. Twist’s VHH libraries use novel methods that combine synthetic and natural approaches to maximize diversity up to 10 billion for each library, creating high quality VHH libraries for use against any protein target. The small size of the VHH antibodies allow them to access targets that traditional antibodies cannot, with tight binding affinity. The modular nature of VHH antibodies supports creation of bi- or multi-specific antibodies ideal for developing next generation therapies specific to oncology, autoimmune disease and virology. During the pandemic, Twist published on the use of these libraries to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 (MAbs. 2022; 14(1): 2002236).