The Chamber was on hand last week as UT Health San Antonio and UT Health Houston announced agreements to grant exclusive global licenses for two unique biologic therapeutics to AlaMab Therapeutics Inc., a subsidiary of CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. The biologics will be developed into novel, first-in-class therapies for spinal cord injury and breast cancer bone metastasis.
The exclusive global license agreements are the most financially significant in UT Health San Antonio history. CSPC and AlaMab will seek regulatory approval in the United States, China and other global markets. Additionally, AlaMab has indicated intent to further partner with UT Health San Antonio to support the pre-clinical investigation and development of the therapeutics to include new indications.
The initial discovery of the antibodies is based on research by Jean Jiang, Ph.D., Ashbel Smith Professor at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Jiang is a tenured professor of biochemistry and structural biology in the University’s Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.
Dr. Jiang then collaborated with Zhiqiang An, Ph.D., of UTHealth in Houston to humanize the antibodies for further pre-clinical and in vivo efficacy studies. Dr. An, professor and director of the Texas Therapeutics Institute at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, and the Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry at UTHealth in Houston, is an international expert on the humanization of monoclonal antibodies. Humanization is an important path toward advanced development on the way to commercialization.
Dr. Jiang’s track record of innovative and excellent research has attracted more than $10.2 million to UT Health San Antonio, including nearly $9.2 million from the National Institutes of Health and $925,000 from The Welch Foundation.
President of UT Health San Antonio, William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, said the licensing agreements demonstrate the importance of consistent federal funding to institutions such as UT Health San Antonio. Federal grants advance discoveries that lead to intellectual property in the labs of UT Health San Antonio, which boosts the city’s life sciences industry and ultimately benefits humanity.
According to a 2016 Economic Impact Study commissioned by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the healthcare and bioscience sector employs one in six employees in San Antonio, and has an economic impact of approximately $37 billion.
With seven campuses in San Antonio and Laredo, UT Health San Antonio has a FY 2017 revenue operating budget of $806.6 million and is the primary driver of its community’s $37 billion biomedical and health care industry. For more information on UT Health San Antonio, visit http://www.uthscsa.edu/.