Gaithersburg, Md., USA, October 10, 2017 – MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and GamaMabs Pharma, a biotechnology company developing optimized therapeutic antibodies targeting AMHR2 for the treatment of cancer, today announced they have entered into a licensing agreement under which GamaMabs 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 utilize MedImmune’s proprietary PBD technology to develop an ADC against a single target, suitable as a therapeutic for a broad variety of solid tumors. MedImmune will receive an upfront payment, development and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on net sales. MedImmune has the first right to negotiate a license to develop and commercialize products created by GamaMabs Pharma with the PBD technology.
“MedImmune continues to advance our next generation antibody-drug conjugates — including our proprietary PBD technology—both internally and externally, with the goal of generating novel treatments to meaningfully improve the lives of cancer patients,” said Ronald Herbst, Vice President, Oncology Research & Development, MedImmune. “Our license agreement with GamaMabs enhances our strategy with a partner who is likewise committed to advancing the latest in scientific innovation to discover new cancer therapies.”
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.
Stephane Degove, Chief Executive Officer at GamaMabs, said “This agreement will further strengthen our breakthrough pipeline in the oncology space and enhance treatment options for cancer patients. We remain steadfast in our commitment to broadening our oncology portfolio. Strategic partnerships such as this one, with a leader in the ADC field, ensure we will continue to expand upon our therapeutic offering for a broad patient base.”
MedImmune’s PBD technology was invented and developed by Spirogen, a company acquired by MedImmune 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. The agreement represents MedImmune’s third such licensing agreement of its PBD technology.
GamaMabs’ clinical pipeline in oncology includes the anti-AMHR2 GM102 monoclonal antibody which enhances tumor cell killing through the activation of immune system cells.
NOTES TO EDITORS
MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across Oncology, Respiratory, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases, and Infection and Vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centres, with additional sites in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, CA. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com
About GamaMabs Pharma
GamaMabs Pharma, a French immuno-oncology biotechnology company, is a leader in the development of optimized antibodies targeting AMHR2 for the treatment of cancer. Gamamabs’ first-in-class proprietary therapeutic monoclonal antibodies promise to have a broad commercial potential in cancer. GamaMabs Pharma’s lead project is the first-in-class monoclonal antibody (mAb) GM102. This antibody, which targets the anti-Müllerian human receptor II (AMHR2/MISR2), entered a first clinical trial in gynecological cancers in H1 2016. Initial results are expected in 2017. The company develops low-fucose EMABling® antibodies (license granted by LFB) with increased tumor cell killing properties through a breakthrough activation of immune system cells. www.gamamabs.com
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