South Korea’s Celltrion and Canada-based iProgen Biotech announced on Monday they have agreed to partner for the development of novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) against validated antibody targets, including HER2 and CD20.
Antibody drug conjugates are compound molecules consisting of antibodies linked to a biologically active cytotoxic drug. Unlike chemotherapy, antibody drug conjugates are designed to mark and kill only cancer cells. ADCs are classified as platform technology for drug delivery as they are often used to boost drug efficacy.
Under their partnership, Celltrion will manufacture and supply four recombinant antibodies to iProgen, among which two are HER2 and CD20 targeting, selected by Celltrion, and two additional targets to be selected by iProgen. Celltrion will also provide supports for regulatory activities for the IND application and the Phase-1 clinical trial to be conducted by iProgen based on the drug candidates.
Upon completion of Phase 1, Celltrion has the right of first negotiation on the drug candidates for global in-licensing.
Antibody Delivery Enhancing Domain (ADED), iProgen`s proprietary ADC technology, is expected to increase anti-tumor efficacy by enhancing the drug delivery and internalization to cancer cells.
This technology can be applied to anti-HER2 ADCs to potentially treat breast cancer patients regardless of their level of HER2 expression.
By Kim Byung-ho and Minu Kim
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