These technologies are currently being developed by Algeta to conjugate thorium-227 to tumor-targeting molecules to create Targeted Thorium Conjugates (TTCs).
Lumiphore’s Lumi4® technology is based on a unique class of bi-functional chelators that forms a novel cage structure surrounding and tightly binding thorium-227, which can then be covalently attached to a range of tumor-targeting molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, to create potential cancer therapeutics. Algeta originally signed an option/license agreement with Lumiphore around this technology in 2010 and subsequently extended it to enable further evaluation to be conducted. This stage of evaluation has now been completed successfully.
In parallel with this license agreement, Algeta has also been granted a license by Lumiphore covering a second class of bi-functional chelators that bind strongly to thorium-227, with the option of including a further selection of compounds within that license if future exploratory work confirms their promise.
Under the terms of the agreements, Algeta will pay Lumiphore the option exercise fee for the Lumi4® chelators, and a signature and option fee for the second class of chelators, plus development and sales milestones and a royalty on product sales. Further financial details have not been disclosed.
Thomas Ramdahl, Algeta’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “Algeta is assembling a broad portfolio of proprietary technologies (including bi-functional chelators, linkers and tumor-targeting molecules), intellectual property and expertise as a platform for generating Targeted Thorium Conjugates, or TTCs. The addition of the Lumiphore technologies to the portfolio through this license and further option agreements will ensure that we have access to the best bi-functional chelators for thorium-227 as we seek to create a pipeline of TTCs designed to address multiple high-value opportunities in targeted cancer therapy.”
Algeta’s TTC strategy is based on gaining access to carefully selected tumor-targeting molecules, via in-licensing, collaboration or via third parties, to which it links thorium-227 thereby creating potential new therapeutics. Algeta’s disclosed TTC programs include collaborations with Sanofi and Ablynx; programs based on CD22- (hematological cancer) and HER2-targeting (breast/ovarian cancer) molecules in-licensed from Immunomedics and Affibody, respectively; and a fully owned TTC program targeting hematological cancers. Algeta is advancing its preclinical pipeline with the aim of entering its first TTC into clinical trials in 2014.