ImaginAb joins with AZ, Pfizer and Takeda to develop tumour imaging tech


LA-based biotech ImaginAb has signed a multi-party agreement with pharma giants AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Takeda, for technology that allows scientists to see inside tumours, and monitor whether immunotherapies are taking effect.

ImaginAb’s imaging technology targets and visualises CD8+ T cells that are called in to attack tumours by immunotherapies.

The company’s ‘Minibody’ platform can assess the immunological status of each cancer lesion within a patient, potentially enabling treatment to be tailored quickly and specifically to the needs of a patient.

Under the terms of the agreement, the collaborators will help guide a current ImaginAb-sponsored clinical trial that aims to evaluate the utility and value of CD8 ImmunoPET in immuno-oncology drug development.

In return, the collaborators will gain early access to clinical and imaging data, and collectively contribute to the post-trial data analysis.

The agreement builds on an impressive list of collaborators that are already helping to guide the technology: Imaginab is already working with Merck & Co., Boehringer Ingelheim, Nektar and Roche, some of the major players in cancer immunotherapy.

ImaginAb was founded in 2007 by professor Anna Wu, and scientific advisor Robert Reiter.

Beyond the founders, the company boasts a highly experienced executive team, board of directors and scientific advisory board including AACR President Dr Antoni Ribas, 2018 Nobel Laureate Dr James Allison, Dr Ramy Ibrahim of the Parker Institute and Dr Tim Irish, who also works for NICE as a non-executive director.

It is also backed by venture capital firms and other investors including The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Nextech Invest, Adage Capital, The Cycad Group, Merck (MSD) Pharma, Novartis Bioventures and Jim Pallotta of the Raptor Group.

The company began the phase 2 clinical trial of its lead product, CD8 ImmunoPET earlier this year at various centres including City of Hope, LA, Dana Farber and University of Alabama.