ADC Therapeutics and BZL Biologics Announces Licensing and Collaboration Agreement
News Jul 16, 2013
ADC Therapeutics Sarl and BZL Biologics LLC have announced an exclusive licensing and collaboration agreement for an antibody against PSMA-positive prostate cancers.
PSMA is a cell-surface antigen on prostate cancer cells, and PSMA levels correlate directly with an aggressive, metastasizing phenotype.
The characteristics of PSMA - its cancer specificity, presence in 95% of prostate cancers, high level of expression, and rapid internalization - make it an ideal ADC target.
ADC Therapeutics plans to initiate pre-IND development of a PSMA-specific ADC immediately, adding to ADC Therapeutics’ portfolio of proprietary ADC programs.
Its unique platform combines monoclonal antibodies specific to particular types of tumor cells, in this case PSMA, with a novel class of highly potent pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warheads.
As ADC Therapeutics PBD-based chemistries do not distort the structure of the DNA it gives the prospect of highly potent, target-selective cancer therapies with fewer side effects and the potential to pre-empt resistance issues faced by other anti-cancer products on the market.
Dr Neil H. Bander, Director of Urological Oncology Research at Weill Cornell Medical College from where the anti-PSMA antibody was licensed, said: “We have direct experience with virtually every antibody-drug conjugate platform currently available; none have produced the level of efficacy we have seen with ADC Therapeutics’ PBD warheads - in vivo efficacy data from their PSMA-targeted ADC drug candidate are truly exciting, and we are excited to see this potentially breakthrough therapy translated into a clinic program as soon as possible.”
Dr. Peter B. Corr, Chairman of ADC Therapeutics and Managing General Partner of Auven Therapeutics, said: “Having the technology platform to develop novel ADCs against important cancer targets and transform healthcare outcomes for patients is a critical part of what we are building at ADC Therapeutics. We are pleased to have established this exclusive relationship with the outstanding team in Dr. Bander’s laboratories at Weill-Cornell.”
Financial terms were not disclosed and remain confidential.