Nona Biosciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HBM Holdings Limited committed to providing a total solution from “Idea to IND” (“I to ITM”), had entered into a license and collaboration agreement with ModernaTX, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), a global biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines. The strategic collaboration will focus on discovering and developing nucleic acid-based immunotherapies for select oncology targets using Nona Biosciences’ proprietary heavy chain only antibody discovery platform (HCAb).
Upon the execution of the agreement and subject to terms and conditions thereof, Moderna will be granted an exclusive sub-licensable license to exploit a panel of sequences against multiple targets, derived from the Nona Biosciences’ HCAb platform, to develop products using nucleic acids. Moderna will assume full responsibility for all upcoming development, manufacturing, regulatory, and commercialization activities. Moderna would also be granted an option to obtain an exclusive sub-licensable license to exploit sequences against additional targets. Pursuant to the agreement, Nona Biosciences shall receive an upfront payment, and potential milestone payments based on pending achievement of certain regulatory, development, and sales milestones, and tiered royalties.
"We are very pleased and proud to collaborate with Moderna, a pioneering industry leader in the field of mRNA technology," said Dr. Jingsong Wang, Chairman and Executive Director of HBM Holdings Limited. “This agreement marks a significant milestone in Nona’s business development, validating the potential of Nona’s technology platforms and innovation capabilities. Following a series of business achievements delivered on a global basis, we will continue to open up our technology platforms and talent and experience to innovators to empower global biotherapeutic innovation.”
HCAb's patented technology generates novel "heavy chain only" antibodies, which are about half the size of a typical IgG. These antibodies carry IgG-like PK properties and Fc-domain functions without the need for additional engineering or humanization. Lack of light chain also minimizes the issue of light chain mispairing and heterodimerization. These characteristics enable the development of products with attributes not achievable by conventional antibody platforms. In addition, HCAb-derived multiple novel therapeutic antibody modalities, including single-domain antibodies, bi-, and multi-specifics, antibody-drug conjugates, CAR-Ts, or VH domain-derived diagnostic or therapeutic products, are also achievable using this platform.