Oncimmune Holdings plc (LON:ONC) has entered a commercial partnership with US West Coast biotech, Augmenta Bioworks, to profile patient plasma samples and characterise antibody therapeutic candidates discovered via Augmenta’s proprietary discovery platforms. There is an option to extend the agreement, expanding the number of samples to be screened, after successful completion of the pilot stage. The expanded phase will utilise Oncimmune’s Infectious Disease NavigAID™ panel being developed under its UK Government funded collaboration the ‘Immunity Profiling of Patients with COVID-19 for Therapy and Triage’ (IMPACTT) programme. Oncimmune’s alliance with Augmenta provides a further opportunity for the company to validate its ImmunoINSIGHTS platform, a versatile proteomics technology with potential applications, not only for oncology and immune-related diseases, but also for infectious disease. It also builds on the existing momentum in its pipeline of contracted revenue for the platform.
Initially Oncimmune will profile plasma samples and characterise therapeutic candidates discovered through Augmenta’s SingleCyte® and DeepGridTM discovery platforms. The pilot project under the master service agreement, will utilise Oncimmune’s oncology SeroTagTM technology to identify specific therapeutic antibodies that bind to human antigens, to refine the selection of clinically effective and targeted therapies, with a target of near term project delivery. Once completed, and provided Augmenta exercises its option to expand the scope of the partnership, increasing the number of samples analysed, these will be validated using Oncimmune’s Infectious Disease NavigAID™ panel which is currently slated for proof-of-concept readiness in early CY 2021 and which targets prediction of disease severity and response to therapies and so can attract new revenue streams for Oncimmune. This is alongside the existing momentum already established with a number of new and expanded ImmunoINSIGHTS partnerships signed with tier 1 biopharma companies in 2020.
The Augmenta partnership can generate near-term fee-for-service revenues for Oncimmune, drives incremental volume and capacity utilisation, and is another opportunity to enrich and validate its capabilities. Furthermore, the opportunity for additional contracts or collaborations improves once the NavigAID™ panel is validated in the coming months, including to help support the development COVID-19 therapies and vaccines. Overall this supports the investment case for Oncimmune, helping cement the profile of ImmunoINSIGHTS platform, and which is also is based on commercialising its Early CDT diagnostic tests worldwide.