Ablynx and Spirogen Ltd. have announced a research collaboration to evaluate the potential of a novel anti-cancer drug conjugate combining Spirogen's proprietary cytotoxic drugs, pyrrolobenzodiazepines (PBD), and associated linker technology, with Nanobodies® generated using Ablynx’s proprietary technology platform.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Ablynx will provide access to novel Nanobodies against a specific, undisclosed cancer target and Spirogen will provide access to its proprietary cytotoxic warheads (PBDs) and conjugation technologies.
Both companies will contribute their resources towards the collaboration, which is expected to last for up to a year initially.
Following this feasibility phase, Ablynx will have the option to either in-license Spirogen’s technology or, in collaboration with Spirogen, move development forward with a third party. No further terms have been disclosed.
Dr Andreas Menrad, Chief Scientific Officer of Ablynx, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Spirogen to discover and develop novel cancer therapeutics based on both companies’ proprietary technologies. Our Nanobodies have the potential to selectively and efficiently deliver Spirogen’s PBD drugs to the site of the tumour. We are very excited about combining our unique and powerful technology with Spirogen’s novel cytotoxic agents to search for breakthrough opportunities in oncology.”
Dr Chris Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Spirogen, said: “The collaboration with Ablynx is designed to evaluate the potential of a Nanobody to act as the targeting molecule for the PBD warhead, which is released once it is inside the cancer cell. These warheads have the potential to be extremely potent without distorting the DNA helix thus avoiding mechanisms that lead to tumours becoming resistant to other anti-cancer drugs.”