Celltrion has signed a development partnership agreement with iProgen Biotech, a Canada-based biotech firm, to develop novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) against validated antibody targets, including human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and CD20.
|Celltrion headquarters in Incheon|
Under the accord, Celltrion will manufacture and supply four recombinant antibodies to iProgen -- two are HER2 and CD20 targeting, selected by Celltrion, and two additional targets to be chosen by iProgen -- while providing support for the chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) activities for the investigational new drug application and the phase-1 clinical trial.
iProgen will conduct the phase-1 clinical trial using these drug candidates, and upon completion of Phase 1, Celltrion has the right of first negotiation on these drug candidates for global in-licensing.
Celltrion said it expects that the antibodies encompassing iProgen’s proprietary delivery technology, antibody delivery enhancing domain (ADED) will increase anti-tumor efficacy by improving the drug delivery and internalization to cancer cells.
The ADED technology is also applicable to anti-HER2 ADCs and can potentially treat not only the breast cancer patients with high levels of HER2 expression more effectively but also those with low levels with no approved targeted therapies while targeting other tumor antigens.
“Celltrion has been searching for novel technologies that could expand the use of existing antibody therapeutics and produce biobetters and next-generation biotherapeutics to bolster its pipeline outside biosimilars and small molecules,” a Celltrion official said.
The company will keep on enriching its pipeline to include a panel of oncology drugs as part of the effort to improve patients’ lives worldwide, the official added.
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