On April 8, Celltrion and the Canada-based iProgen Biotech Inc. announced to agree to partner for the development of novel ADCs against validated antibody targets, including HER2 and CD20.
The terms of the partnership agreement include: (1) Celltrion manufactures and supplies 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, (2) Celltrion provides supports for the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC) activities for the IND application and the Phase-1 clinical trial, (3) iProgen conducts the Phase-1 clinical trial using these drug candidates, and (4) upon completion of Phase 1, Celltrion has the right of first negotiation on these drug candidates for global in-licensing.
The antibodies encompassing iProgen's proprietary delivery technology, Antibody Delivery Enhancing Domain (ADED) is expected to increase anti-tumor efficacy by enhancing the drug delivery and internalization to cancer cells. The ADED technology is applied to anti-HER2 ADCs to 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. In addition to HER2, other tumor antigens may be therapeutically targeted by ADCs that embody this technology.
The representative of Celltrion said, "Celltrion has been searching for novel technologies that could expand the use of existing antibody therapeutics and produce biobetters and next-generation biotherapeutics, in order to bolster its pipeline outside biosimilars and small molecules," adding that "We will keep on enriching our pipeline to include a panel of oncology drugs, as part of the effort to improve patients' lives worldwide."