Iksuda Therapeutics and Femtogenix sign license agreement

Agreement gives Iksuda access to Femtogenix’s therapeutic payloads to advance lead ADC for difficult-to-treat solid tumours

NEWCASTLE, UK I March 5, 2019 I Iksuda Therapeutics (Iksuda), the next-generation Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) company, today announced it has signed a licensing agreement with Femtogenix Limited (FGX), the next-generation ADC payload company. As part of this agreement, Iksuda will use FGX’s sequence-selective DNA-interactive payload molecules to progress its lead ADC towards the clinic, with the aim of targeting difficult-to-treat solid tumours.

By harnessing FGX’s highly potent and broad-acting DNA mono-alkylating payloads in combination with its own PermaLink® conjugation platform, Iksuda aims to significantly improve the therapeutic index of its ADCs and further advance the current standard of care for solid tumour types, which can be resistant to treatment. The agreement marks another key step in the build-out of Iksuda’s ADC technology-suite and drug pipeline, from which it aims to progress multiple candidates towards first clinical studies in 2020.

Dr Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Iksuda, said:This agreement is an exciting progression of our ADC pipeline as it maximises potential for the greatest anti-cancer impact and enhanced therapeutic index, further underpinning our ambition to advance multiple ADCs to the clinic and treat the broadest patient population possible. 

Dr Chris Keightley, Chief Executive Officer, Femtogenix, said: We are pleased to be working with Iksuda to further validate the clinical potential of our payloads, which should provide improved efficacy and safety in comparison to those currently in the clinic. We have developed a wide range of easily conjugated payloads with novel mechanisms of action and potency levels, and these are available for licensing. In particular, we are developing payloads that can recognise and bind to transcription factor recognition site profiles within the genome. Such profiles are characteristic of specific tumour types, and this allows FGX to develop payloads with reduced toxicity and enhanced target specificity.”

About Iksuda Therapeutics: www.iksuda.com

Iksuda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focussed on the development of next generation Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) designed to combat difficult-to-treat tumours, including those that are resistant or refractory to current treatment regimens. Iksuda’s pipeline of stable and superior ADCs is centred on its highly stable PermaLink® conjugation platform in combination with a portfolio of highly potent cytotoxic payloads designed to enhance antitumor activity and improve the lives of cancer patients.

About Femtogenix: www.femtogenix.com

Femtogenix discovers and develops next-generation DNA-interactive payload molecules for use in antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). Its payloads are designed using a proprietary development platform combining computational chemistry techniques and know-how gained from decades of experience in DNA-targeted drug discovery and development. This unique platform enables Femtogenix researchers to design molecules capable of binding reversibly and/or irreversibly to DNA in a sequence-interactive manner, resulting in exquisite tumour cell cytotoxicity. When attached to antibodies or other targeting moieties, these potent cytotoxic agents can be delivered directly to tumours with minimal systemic toxicities. Based in Welwyn Garden City in the UK, Femtogenix works with a variety of partners to produce novel ADC anticancer agents.

About ADCs and payloads

Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) are capable of delivering highly cytotoxic payloads directly to tumour cells, they are composed of a payload, linker and an antibody, the payload being either a small molecule, protein, protein toxin, enzyme or a radionuclide carrying the cytotoxic potency. Highly cytotoxic payloads are unsuitable for systemic administration but can be used to achieve high lethality towards targeted cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells unharmed. Systemic toxicities have been observed due to premature detachment of the payload, and resistance has developed in patients. Femtogenix is designing novel DNA-interactive payloads with maximum possible cytotoxicity, that are structured to use third-party conjugating technologies ensuring release only at the site of tumour cells. The payloads are also designed to have a novel mechanism of action and IP space compared to existing DNA-interactive payloads, to have minimal hydrophobicity and to be resistant to P-Glycoprotein pumps in tumour cells.

SOURCE:

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