Genmab and ADC Therapeutics Enter Co-Development Collaboration for an Antibody Drug Conjugate Combining HuMax-TAC and PBD Warhead
• Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) to be developed for cancer
• Combines strength of HuMax®-TAC with next generation PBD-based warhead technology
• 50:50 partnership
Copenhagen, Denmark and Lausanne, Switzerland; 17 June 2013 – Genmab A/S (OMX: GEN) and ADC Therapeutics, announced today an agreement to develop a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) product combining Genmab’s HuMax-TAC antibody and ADC Therapeutics’ PBD-based warhead and linker technology. The Companies have been conducting in vitro and in vivo studies since 2012 to investigate different warhead and linker combinations with HuMax-TAC, and now have the product ready for pre-IND preclinical development. The product will be developed for multiple cancer indications.
Genmab and ADC Therapeutics will each initially have an equal share in the product. In the first instance, ADC Therapeutics will lead and fund preclinical development. Prior to the submission of an application to conduct clinical studies in patients (IND filing), Genmab may elect to retain equal ownership of the product. Genmab will not incur any development costs prior to the IND filing decision and Genmab will maintain a minimum 25% ownership stake in the product as it moves into clinical development. No other financial terms were disclosed.
“We believe our unique HuMax-TAC antibody has optimal characteristics for creation of an ultra-potent antibody-drug conjugate when used in combination with ADC Therapeutics’ novel PBD-based warhead and linker technology, which employs an emerging class of highly potent anticancer agents. This agreement is another example of a win-win partnership combining Genmab’s state-of-the-art antibody development expertise with the latest advance in antibody-payload technology,” said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.
Dr. Peter B, Corr, Chairman of ADC Therapeutics said: “We are very excited to be developing an ADC with our new partner Genmab and incorporating our next generation PBD-based toxins into this product. Our warhead payload technology enjoys exquisite potency, optimised conjugation and pharmaceutical properties that maintain activity in highly resistant cancers. Our pre-clinical data for this product indicate the potential for curative efficacy in highly resistant populations at low ADC doses of this product in several oncology indications, an area with critical unmet needs.
This agreement does not affect Genmab’s 2013 financial guidance.
HuMax-TAC is a high-affinity fully human antibody targeting CD25, a therapeutic target with strong clinical validation. CD25 is expressed on a variety of hematological tumors and shows limited expression on normal tissues, which makes it a very attractive target for antibody-payload approaches. With HuMax-TAC-ADC, we aim to develop a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate for the potential treatment of CD25-expressing lymphomas and leukemias.
About PBD Warheads & Linkers
ADCs developed using ADC Therapeutics’ technology combine monoclonal antibodies specific to particular tumor targets with highly potent pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) based warheads developed by ADC Therapeutic’s partner Spirogen Limited. These PBD warheads are joined to antibodies by linkers that release the PBD warhead in the targeted cancer cells. This technology has attracted the attention of other biotechnology companies such as Genentech and Seattle Genetics.
About ADC Therapeutics
ADC Therapeutics sarl (ADCT) is a Swiss-based oncology drug development company that specializes in the development of proprietary Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) targeting major cancers such as breast lung, prostate, renal and blood. The Company’s ADCs are highly targeted drug constructs which combine monoclonal antibodies specific to particular types of tumor cells with a novel class of highly potent pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warheads. As its 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. The company was formed in 2012 with a $50m commitment from private equity firm Auven Therapeutics (previously known as Celtic Therapeutics). ADCT has a strategic collaboration with Spirogen Ltd, also an Auven Therapeutics’ portfolio company, for the supply of warhead chemistries and R&D services. It operates a virtual business model based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
For further information please see: www.adctherapeutics.com
About Genmab A/S
Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated human antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1999, the company’s first marketed antibody, ofatumumab (Arzerra®), was approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia in patients who are refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab after less than eight years in development. Genmab’s validated and next generation antibody technologies are expected to provide a steady stream of future product candidates. Partnering of innovative product candidates and technologies is a key focus of Genmab’s strategy and the company has alliances with top tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. For more information visit www.genmab.com.
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Contact ADC Therapeutics:
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Posted: June 2013