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3 July, 2018 - 09:55 By Tony Quested

Clone arranger Abcam finds silver bullet for cancers

Cambridge life science innovator Abcam has teamed up with Merck in Germany to develop a new antibody to treat tumours.

The partners have formally announced the commercial launch of the PD-L1 antibody (clone 73-10) – developed  by Abcam’s in-house antibody engineers. Merck will use the technology as an analytical antibody in its therapeutic programme to assess expression of PD-L1 in tumours from patients who could benefit from PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint immunotherapy. 

The antibody is also available to the global research community through Abcam’s online catalogue.

John Baker, SVP of portfolio and business development for Abcam said: “Collaborations with industry partners are an important part of Abcam’s strategy to provide the best tools to all researchers worldwide. 

“By working with Merck we are able to make available this important antibody at scale to help scientists accelerate their research, and expand understanding of the role of immune checkpoint inhibitors as cancer therapeutics.”

Clone 73-10 is an important addition to Abcam’s range of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint antibodies and is available via www.abcam.com/pdl1-ab-73-10 

Abcam is having a new headquarters built at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and is scaling globally with Alan Hirzel holding the reins.

The share price was up at the time of writing to 1336.20 set against a 52-week range of 900p-1465p. It meant the market cap was £2.74 billion.

Abcam recently decided not to trigger a hostile takeover for gene editing world leader Horizon Discovery – also based in the UK’s life science capital – but I understand the company remains on the alert for prime acquisition opportunities globally.

Horizon was trading at the start of this week at 169.50 – slightly up on the prior seven days but still well shy of the 52-week high of 294p per share.

Abcam had floated the prospect of a £270 million bid proposition which valued Horizon at 181 pence a share – a 26 per cent premium to Horizon’s closing price on May 1 when Abcam went public on its interest in the Cambridge Research Park business.

Horizon directors felt the prospective offer substantially undervalued the company given its long-term potential, notably in the pursuit of personalised medicines.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: John Baker

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