VivaMab, a therapeutic development division of BioAtla LLC, and ADC Therapeutics Sarl, a portfolio company of Auven Therapeutics and the oncology drug development company specializing in proprietary antibody drug conjugates ('ADCs'), today announced a licensing deal for a novel antibody against an undisclosed hematological cancer target.
Under the terms of the deal, ADC Therapeutics has licensed a VivaMab antibody (VM101) produced using BioAtla’s Express Humanization™, Comprehensive Positional Evolution™, Combinatorial Protein Synthesis™ affinity and functional maturation technology platforms. VM101 has been combined with a third-generation cytotoxic pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warhead and proprietary linker technology to form a novel ADC, which has already been shown to have powerful in vivo efficacy in established models for normally intractable hematological cancer indications.
ADC Therapeutics plans to initiate pre-IND development of this proprietary ADC immediately, in parallel with its other advanced ADC programs. VivaMab will provide development support and will receive a share of potential milestones and royalties on the drug. Financial terms were not disclosed and remain confidential.
Dr. William Boyle, President of VivaMab said: “The BioAtla platform has generated a superior internalizing antibody to the target of interest, allowing us to generate and develop an ADC drug candidate for hematologic cancers. The combination of a uniquely potent BioAtla antibody with a potent drug conjugate, or warhead, is likely to enhance therapeutic outcomes in its target indication.”
Dr. Peter B. Corr, Chairman of ADC Therapeutics and Managing General Partner of Auven Therapeutics said: “PBD-antibody conjugates are the most promising next-generation ADCs. The target disease for this ADC is particularly sensitive to our PBD technology, with its functionally optimized conjugation and pharmaceutical properties that maintain activity in cancers resistant to other therapies including earlier generations of ADCs. We are very pleased to be working with VivaMab to bring this potentially exciting cancer therapeutic into clinical development.”
Results presented at the 2013 American Association for Cancer Research by BioAtla and Spirogen showed positive data describing the potent ADC activity which resulted from the combination of BioAtla’s functionally and CIAO!™ evolved antibody with Spirogen’s PBD-derived conjugate. The pre-clinical studies, that evaluated in vivo performance against a hematologic cancer target, showed complete responses at low doses, and at low drug-antibody ratios, in each of the tumor types studied. The PBD dimers were not found to be cross-resistant with widely used chemotherapeutic agents.