Working with partners in a range of therapeutic areas
Avacta works with partners through research collaborations and commercial licensing arrangements to develop Affimer® molecules in a range of therapeutic areas and delivery modalities.
Seoul, South Korea-based LG Chem has the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise, 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, optimisation 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 that can be fused to other therapeutic proteins to modify certain properties of those biological drug moieties such as serum half-life and tissue localisation. 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 commercialisation of those products.
AffyXell Therapeutics, a Joint Venture with Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
Avacta and Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. have established a joint venture in South Korea and entered into a collaboration and license agreement for the joint venture to develop the next generation of cell and gene therapies incorporating Affimer proteins to enhance the immune-modulatory effects.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising agents for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The joint venture will develop a new class of MSCs that are primed to produce and secrete Affimer proteins, which are designed to enhance the immune-modulatory effect when administered to patients, by reducing inflammatory or autoimmune responses.
Daewoong will provide the joint venture with access to its proprietary technology for generating allogeneic MSCs from a single donor to treat a large number of patients. This proprietary technology facilitates developing cell therapies as “off-the-shelf” products.
Avacta will develop Affimer proteins against several undisclosed targets which will be transferred to the joint venture to be incorporated into MSCs. The resulting engineered MSCs will have broad ranging therapeutic utility, depending on the Affimer proteins’ intended therapeutic purposes.
ModernaTx, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, USA, is currently evaluating certain Affimer® molecules having entered into an exclusive license agreement for selected therapeutic Affimer® candidates against one undisclosed target.
Avacta has entered a collaboration and option agreement with Lausanne, Switzerland-based ADC Therapeutics to develop Affimer-drug conjugates combining Avacta’s Affimer® technology with ADC Therapeutics’ pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warhead and linker technologies.
As part of the multi-target collaboration Avacta will generate and optimise Affimer® binders against three undisclosed cancer targets and provide these to ADC Therapeutics to target its PBD warheads to the site of the tumour. ADC Therapeutics will carry out pre-clinical research and development programmes to evaluate each of the Affimer-drug conjugates with a view to generating clinical candidates.
Avacta and OncoSec, a NJ, USA 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 tumours 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 pre|CISIONTM technology that has arisen out of the research of William Bachovchin, Professor of Developmental, Chemical and Molecular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. The collaboration is focused on developing a new class of therapies called TMAC® (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. The pre|CISIONTM technology is also being applied to improve the safety profile of chemotherapies without affecting their efficacy, by targeting them to the tumour.