Developing the next generation of biotherapeutics
Affimer® proteins are being developed as multi-specific therapies including antagonists and co-stimulatory agonists, and to target drug conjugates. Avacta works with therapeutics development partners through research collaborations where there is mutual interest in co-funding a development programme and through fully funded licensing arrangements in which lead Affimer candidates may be transferred to a partner for development.
LG Chem has the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize, on a worldwide basis, multiple Affimer® therapeutics intended for treatment of patients in the fields of inflammatory disorders, and oncology. Under the terms of the agreement, Avacta will generate and carry out the discovery, optimization and protein engineering of Affimer® drug candidates against a set of undisclosed targets. LG Chem and Avacta will collaborate to progress these candidates through to drug candidate selection and LG Chem will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development and world-wide marketing of any resulting products.
Additionally, the agreement provides that Avacta and LG Chem will collaborate jointly in the development of two different Affimer® PK/ADME modifiers – Affimers that can be fused to other therapeutic proteins to modify certain properties of those biological drug moieties such as serum half-life and tissue localization. Both parties will have the right to develop PK/ADME modified products, and by exercise of an option, to take exclusive responsibility for the development, manufacture and commercialization of those products.
Moderna has exclusive access to Affimer technology against certain targets and is currently evaluating pre-clinical Affimers during its option period to enter into exclusive license agreements for selected therapeutic Affimer candidates.
Avacta and OncoSec, a company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, have entered into a research collaboration to combine the Affimer protein platform with OncoSec’s gene delivery technology ImmunoPulse®. The research programme will evaluate the benefits of delivering Affimer protein genes directly into tumors using the OncoSec technology with the long-term aim of developing gene delivered Affimer immunotherapies.
Avacta has agreed a co-development partnership with Bach BioSciences, a company commercialising the research of William Bachovchin, Professor of Developmental, Chemical and Molecular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. The collaboration will develop a new class of therapies called TMACTM (Tumor Microenvironment Activated Conjugate) which have a dual mode of action combining an immuno-oncology active Affimer with a chemotoxin that is specifically released in the tumour microenvironment.