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AbbVie selects target for Dragonfly partnership

Dragonfly’s partnership with AbbVie is beginning to bear fruit.

AbbVie has selected its first NK cell engager-based immunotherapy as part of the deal, triggering an undisclosed opt-in payment, the companies announced Tuesday. AbbVie will gain exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize products directed to this first target, which is also undisclosed, and Dragonfly becomes eligible for future milestones and royalties.

“This opt-in, so soon after launching our collaboration, is a great vote of confidence,” Dragonfly CEO Bill Haney said in a statement. “We look forward to continued success and rapid progress with the AbbVie team.”

The pair signed their collaboration back in November 2019. So far, all of Dragonfly’s collaborations have netted $800 million in upfront payments and early milestones. The biotech is eligible for up to $17 billion in total milestones should it achieve them all.

Tuesday’s selection comes out of Dragonfly’s TriNKET platform, building tri-specific NK cell engager therapies. Dragonfly has also signed on to three deals with Bristol Myers Squibb, the most recent of which came last July, and two with Merck. — Max Gelman

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