Antikor Biopharma and Essex Bio-Technology Forge Strategic Alliance in FDC for Cancer Treatment
Biotechnology company Antikor Biopharma Ltd is pleased to announce that it has entered into an Investment Agreement for up to US$3,100,000 with Essex Bio-Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Essex Bio-Technology Ltd (”EssexBio”), which will enable Antikor to consolidate and expand its position as a leading innovator in smaller-format conjugate therapies for solid tumours.
Mahendra Deonarain, Antikor’s CEO and visiting Reader in Antibody Technology at Imperial College London where Antikor has its roots, commented: “We believe we have a platform that is tailored to make an impact in an area of major unmet medical need, and with EssexBio’s considerable commercial and clinical expertise, we now have the opportunity for translating the promised advantages of Antikor’s proprietary products into clinical benefit.”
“We are excited to have established a strong alliance with Antikor”, said Malcolm Ngiam, President of Essex Bio-Investment, “Fragment-Drug Conjugate is an innovative approach with the potential to overcome many of the challenges faced by current treatment methods. The research and commercial partnership with Antikor is an important step towards developing first-in-class treatment for cancer.”
Antikor’s novel technology platform will enrich Essex’s research pipeline and is aligned with EssexBio’s long-term research and commercial strategy.
Antibody Fragment-Drug Conjugates (FDCs)
Antibody Fragment-Drug Conjugates (FDCs, also called immuno-conjugates) combine the pharmacological potency of highly cytotoxic drugs with the high specificity of an antibody against tumour-associated targets. FDCs comprise much smaller antibody fragments (single-chain scFvs) than ‘whole’ antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). FDCs are relatively easy to discover and can be bioengineered for multiple drug-molecule conjugation, leading to higher loadings than has so far been achieved with whole mAbs. FDCs demonstrate superior tumour penetration and rapid elimination from normal tissues, without running the risk of problems with product manufacturing or stability.1 As a next-generation cancer therapy that can overcome the many limitations of existing treatment options, FDCs have exciting market potential, with predicted sales of drug-conjugates of over $18 billion by 2022.2
Antikor is developing Antibody Fragment-Drug Conjugates (FDCs). Its lead product (ANT043), an anti-HER2 FDC for multiple solid tumours, demonstrated more rapid and complete tumour regression compared with a trastuzumab-based ADC in human gastric cancer pre-clinical models, whilst also being better tolerated. Furthermore, Antikor has proprietary single-chain Fv libraries optimised for FDC discovery, and linker-payload expertise enabling efficient and effective FDC discovery and development for oncology and beyond. Antikor has received numerous Innovate-UK grant awards, and regularly presents at major international conferences. Antikor is based in the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Innovation Park just north of London.
Essex Bio-Technology is a bio-pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and commercialises genetically engineered therapeutic rb-bFGF (FGF-2), having five commercialised biologics marketed in China since 1998.
The products of the Company and its 3rd party products are prescribed for the treatment of wound healing and diseases in Ophthalmology & Dermatology, which are marketed and sold through more than 6,300 hospitals and managed directly by its 42 regional sales offices in China.
Leveraging on its in-house R&D platform in growth factor and antibody, the Company maintains a pipeline of projects in various clinical stages, covering a wide range of fields of indication.
1 Antikor’s official website, www.antikor.co.uk
2 Research & Markets Report, Feb 2017
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