GamaMabs & MedImmune to develop ADC targeting cancer

Incyte picks up rights to investigational antibody in $150m deal
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Under a new licensing agreement, biotech company GamaMabs Pharma will use MedImmune’s proprietary pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) toxin and linker technology to research and produce an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) as a potential cancer therapy.

GamaMabs will have the exclusive right to utilise MedImmune’s proprietary PBD technology to develop an ADC against a single target, suitable as a therapeutic for a broad variety of solid tumours.

MedImmune – AstraZeneca’s global biologics R&D arm – will receive an upfront payment, development and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on net sales.

It also has the first right to negotiate a license to develop and commercialize products created by GamaMabs Pharma with the PBD technology.

“This agreement will further strengthen our breakthrough pipeline in the oncology space and enhance treatment options for cancer patients,” said Stephane Degove, GamaMabs CEO.

Similar to a navigation system that takes a molecule to a specific address in the body, GamaMabs’ innovative antibodies, in combination with MedImmune’s unique PBD technology, are expected to show a promising capacity to deliver the potent PBD payload to cancer cells expressing a selected target.

MedImmune’s PBD technology was invented and developed by Spirogen, a company it acquired in 2013.

PBDs are a potent cytotoxic agent, or ‘warhead,’ which when coupled to a specific cancer targeting antibody, together known as an ADC, enable the selective killing of cancer cells.