Synthon enters worldwide exclusive license and collaboration with Sanquin for immuno-oncology therapeutic leads modulating the CD47-SIRPα pathway

NIJMEGEN & AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands I March 2, 2017 I Synthon Biopharmaceuticals BV, an international biopharmaceutical company that is focused on developing new molecular entities for treating cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced that it has entered a license and collaboration agreement for the development of novel immuno-oncology antibodies with Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation (‘Sanquin’), Amsterdam.

Under the terms of the agreement, Synthon has obtained worldwide exclusive rights to Sanquin’s know-how, lead antibodies and intellectual property regarding the CD47-SIRPα pathway to develop new immuno-oncology treatments.

CD47 is a broadly expressed membrane protein that interacts with the myeloid inhibitory immunoreceptor SIRPα (also termed CD172a or SHPS-1). When SIRPα engages with CD47, it provides a downregulatory signal that inhibits host cell phagocytosis, and CD47 therefore acts as a “don't-eat-me” signal. Blocking CD47-SIRPα interactions promotes the destruction of, for example, cancer cells by phagocytes through antibody-dependent mechanisms.

Dr. Marco Timmers, chief scientific officer of Synthon Biopharmaceuticals commented: “We are particularly pleased with this license and collaboration agreement, which combines Sanquin’s outstanding research capabilities with Synthon’s biopharmaceutical drug development and manufacturing excellence. This will enable us to accelerate the availability of important new therapeutic treatment options for cancer patients who may benefit from these.”

Prof. Dr. René van Lier, director of Research and Member of the Executive Board at Sanquin: "The collaboration agreement with Synthon, with their knowledge of next-generation medicines, is a great example of Sanquin's efforts to provide patients with innovative therapeutic treatment options."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

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About Sanquin

Sanquin is responsible for the blood supply in the Netherlands on a not-for-profit basis. Hundreds of thousands of non-remunerated blood donors make this possible. They are the heart of the organization. The core activity is safe and efficient production and distribution of blood and plasma products for the treatment of patients. Sanquin conducts scientific research, adding to our knowledge of blood and transfusion medicine. This enables Sanquin to advise hospitals and anyone treating patients. http://www.sanquin.nl/en/research/

About Synthon

Synthon, with headquarters in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is an international pharmaceutical company and a leader in the field of generic medicines. The company started its biopharmaceutical franchise in 2007 and is building a promising portfolio of innovative next-generation medicines. Synthon is developing into a specialty pharmaceutical company, focusing on the therapeutic areas of oncology and auto-immune diseases. Synthon products are currently approved by regulatory agencies in around 100 countries worldwide and marketed through strategic partnerships and – in dedicated areas – through direct sales. Synthon employs about 1,900 staff worldwide, and in 2016 it recorded a turnover of EUR 258 million. For more information, go to www.synthonbiopharmaceuticals.com.

SOURCE: Synthon

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