MolMed and AbCheck sign a three-year Master Agreement for the development of new CARs targeting novel tumor antigens
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- Published on Thursday, 28 June 2018 17:40
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The collaboration with AbCheck will allow MolMed to enlarge its proprietary CAR pipeline for both liquid and solid malignancies
MILAN, Italy and PLZEN, Czech Republic I June 28, 2018 I MolMed S.p.A. (MLMD.MI), a medical biotechnology company focusing on research, development, manufacturing, and clinical validation of cell & gene therapies to treat cancer and rare diseases and AbCheck s.r.o., a technology company focusing on the discovery and optimization of high-quality human antibodies, today announced that they have entered into a three-year Master Agreement aimed at providing MolMed with selected and optimized antibodies for the development of new Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs), targeting both liquid and solid tumors.
Under the agreement, AbCheck will use its proprietary discovery platform to select, optimize and deliver multiple human single-chain variable fragments (scFvs), specifically recognizing each MolMed target candidate. ScFvs are the extracellular regions of the CAR responsible for antigen recognition and binding, conferring specificity to the CAR.
The new and optimized scFvs delivered by AbCheck will allow MolMed to expand its proprietary pipeline in both autologous CAR-T and future allogenic CAR-NK platforms.
Riccardo Palmisano, MolMed CEO, commented: "This new collaboration plays a key role to complete the picture of the planned and announced enlargement of our CAR pipeline. Leveraging on the unique experience that we developed on CAR T CD44v6, now close to clinical stage in acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma and on the recently signed partnership with Glycostem, with this agreement with AbCheck, a company with extensive expertise in antibodies selection and boasting partnerships with relevant companies and institutions in the CAR field, MolMed is fully prepared to build a robust autologous and allogeneic original CAR T pipeline, able to target both liquid and solid tumors".
Volker Lang, Managing Director of AbCheck, added: "AbCheck is recognized for its proven capability to reliably deliver high-quality human antibodies suitable for clinical development. We are very pleased to employ our unique technology suite to support MolMed's dedicated team in adding novel therapeutic options to its diverse pipeline. Both CAR-Ts and CAR-NKs represent promising novel immuno-oncology approaches and we are confident that AbCheck's abilities in antibody discovery and optimization will be an important asset in developing such approaches."
AbCheck s.r.o. discovers and optimizes human antibodies leveraging several proprietary platforms including in vitro and in vivo technologies. We use phage/yeast display libraries (AbSieve), mass humanization and antibody optimization (AbAccel) to provide high quality leads. Our technology platform can be used in conjunction with all antibody designs and allows selection of optimized leads from a huge number of variants. Flexibly adapting to our partners' needs, we offer a variety of business models, including deals without royalties. AbCheck has proven its capabilities in multiple partnerships throughout the US and Europe. AbCheck is a wholly owned subsidiary of Affimed GmbH. For more information, please visit http://abcheck.eu.
MolMed S.p.A. is a biotechnology company focused on research, development, manufacturing and clinical validation of innovative anticancer therapies. MolMed's product portfolio includes proprietary anti-tumor therapies in clinical and preclinical development: Zalmoxis® (TK) is a cell therapy based on donor T cells genetically engineered to enable bone marrow transplants from partially compatible donors for patients with high-risk hematological malignancies, eliminating post-transplant immunosuppression prophylaxis and inducing a rapid immune reconstitution. Zalmoxis® received Orphan Drug Designation and is currently in Phase III in a high-risk population of acute leukemia patients, but has already obtained a Conditional Marketing Authorization by the European Commission in the second half of 2016 as well as reimbursement conditions in Italy at the end of 2017 and in Germany at the beginning of 2018. Still focusing on this cell & gene technology, the company is developing a therapy based on Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR), specifically the CAR-T CD44v6, an immune gene therapy project, currently in advanced preclinical development, potentially effective for hematological malignancies and several solid epithelial tumors. MolMed is also the first company in Europe to have obtained the GMP manufacturing authorization for cell & gene therapies for its proprietary products (Zalmoxis®) as well as for third parties and/or in partnership (Strimvelis, a GSK gene therapy for the ADA-SCID). With reference to GMP development and manufacturing activities for third parties, MolMed signed numerous partnership agreements with leading European and US companies. In the framework of innovative anticancer therapies, MolMed's pipeline also includes NGR-hTNF, a therapeutic agent for solid tumors investigated in a broad clinical program, involving more than 1,000 treated patients. MolMed, founded in 1996 as an academic spin-off of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, is listed on the main market (MTA) of the Milan stock exchange managed by Borsa Italiana since March 2008. MolMed is headquartered and based in Milan, at the San Raffaele Biotechnology Department (DIBIT) and has an operating unit at OpenZone in Bresso.