Harpoon Therapeutics announced Wednesday evening that AbbVie has passed on exercising its exclusive license option for the HPN217 program, which targets B cell maturation antigen, or BCMA.

The agreement, which was first announced in November 2019, will terminate on October 12. The deal granted AbbVie an option to the worldwide, exclusive license to the program targeting multiple myeloma with its Tri-specific T cell Activating Construct (TriTAC) platform.

Going forward, Harpoon said it will remain exclusively within the company as it plans to complete an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial with data to support the next phase of development.

At the end of June, the pharma said it completed patient enrollment in the HPN217 trial.

The clinical-stage immuno-oncology company also previously announced abstract acceptance and a poster presentation of preliminary data from the dose escalation portion of the study of HPN217 in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The presentation will take place at a conference in Europe later this month.

“There is a significant unmet medical need for patients living with advanced multiple myeloma who have progressed after prior treatments, including patients with prior BCMA-targeted therapies, and we remain confident in HPN217’s potential to offer these patients a differentiated treatment option,” Harpoon CEO Julie Eastland said in a statement. “We will share interim results with the scientific community at the upcoming IMS meeting. The preliminary data from the HPN217 study continue to be encouraging with a favorable safety profile.”

Harpoon stated that it will continue to focus on advancing its T-cell engager pipeline and plans to present  interim Phase 1/2 clinical data from HPN328 at a conference next month.

Notably, Harpoon decided to discontinue its once-leading candidate for prostate cancer and invest in other therapies in March 2022. 

Harpoon announced the AbbVie decision just over a month after hiring Haibo Wang, a former Hummingbird Bioscience exec, as its SVP of business development. Wang’s appointment is expected to bolster the company’s efforts to move HPN217 into development.

As for AbbVie, the pharma giant reported a decrease in net revenues in its most recent earnings report, with a 5.5% year-over-year decline in its immunology portfolio.