Samyang Biopharm USA said Tuesday it has signed a deal to develop a new immunotherapy candidate jointly with Talix Therapeutics, a Belgium-based biotech firm. Samyang Biopharm USA is a U.S. subsidiary of Samyang Biopharmaceuticals, a biomedical unit of Samyang Group.
Under the accord, Samyang Biopharm USA will proceed with non-clinical trials for a drug that targets CD96 antibody with Talix and, based on the research results, will be able to license in the substance and have exclusive rights to global development, manufacturing, and commercialization. The two agreed not to disclose detailed numbers.
As there are no anticancer drugs that target CD96, the company expects the drug will be a first-in-class candidate.
CD96 is present on the surface of immune cells such as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Talix developed the antibody that can stimulate CD96 after discovering the co-stimulatory function, which is a function that activates T cells to increase self-proliferation and cancer cell attack, in CD96.
Previous pre-clinical trials have also shown that the drug has a synergistic effect with programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors, which are anticancer drugs that block the binding between immune cells and specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells, allowing T cells to attack cancer cells.
"The two companies will work together to develop innovative treatments to improve the lives of cancer patients worldwide," Samsung Biopharm USA CEO Lee Hyun-jung said. "The collaboration with Talix, which has achieved significant results in the non-clinical stage, will strengthen Samyang Biopharm's new drug pipeline."
Talix CEO Jack Elands also said, "We expect Samyang will successfully develop CD96 antibodies as the company has all the management and scientific insights needed to develop new drugs."
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