Partnered and backed by AbbVie, but cancer I-O biotech Tizona targeted by Gilead

Headed up by Scott Clarke, an ex-Roche exec who served as its global head of oncology partnering for Asia and emerging markets, the cancer immunotherapy company is working on several early assets, including TTX-030, a CD39-targeting antibody that last year attracted AbbVie’s interest and, according to preclinical data, seems to block an immune-inhibiting pathway in the tumor microenvironment.

AbbVie, in fact, paid $105 million upfront as well as making an undisclosed equity investment in Tizona to secure exclusive rights to anti-CD39 antibody TTX-030, which the two companies say is a first-in-class immuno-oncology drug that could restore and bolster immune responses against cancer cells.