DALLAS & LA JOLLA, Calif.—Clinical-stage biopharma Lantern Pharma has announced the launch of its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) program via an evaluation and potential development agreement with Califia Pharma, alongside other internal development and computational initiatives. Under this program, Lantern will leverage the patent-protected linker library, conjugation processes, and payloads, including its own compounds—LP-100 and LP-184—for development as ADC-based therapies for several different types of solid tumors and blood cancers. Lantern will also deploy its proprietary RADR platform to aid in identifying cancer types, targets, and cancer biomarker signatures with the best chance of responding to an ADC approach.
“At Lantern, we are focused on uncovering and accelerating new advances that can make a meaningful impact on personalizing cancer treatment and that can leverage our A.I. and data-driven model for precision cancer drug development. The Califia portfolio of technologies and library of linkers has been meaningfully progressed with a specific focus on the class of drugs represented by LP-100 and LP-184. We believe that this optimization, coupled with our identification of cancer sub-types, should enable us to target very specific cancers quickly, creating the potential to enter into clinical trials at a speed that we believe has not been achieved in the ADC category,” Panna Sharma, CEO of Lantern Pharma, stated in a press release.
“Pioneering development by Califia has yielded novel linkers and chemistries that we believe have significantly improved the therapeutic index of specific DNA damage compounds and alkylating agents in early preclinical studies, and have also minimized the manufacturing steps involved in conjugation of the ADC structure,” he added.
The initial focus for this program will be to evaluate Califia's linker technologies with DNA-damaging small molecules LP-100 and LP-184 in select solid tumors. Lantern plans to apply its own RADR platform to aid in selecting and prioritizing certain tumors and cancer subtypes to identify where the unmet need is greatest, particularly in rare/orphan indications that have not seen meaningful improvements in the standard of care. The focus for 2021 will be to optimize target indications and design, with the goal of launching Investigative New Drug and clinical programs in 2022. Should early development prove promising, the company intends to further a license covering the intended targets, payloads, and linkers to be included in the clinical development process.
According to a Lantern press release, “The ADC development program is at the forefront of translational cancer medicine.” This word, per the company, “is intended to be done in collaboration with leading cancer research centers and will attempt to also implement the use of precision medicine tools, such as biomarker driven targeting and analysis, companion diagnostics, and large-scale analytics to fully leverage the precision power of ADCs.”
“Working closely with innovators and world-leading drug developers is an essential part of our strategy to leverage and develop new platforms that can transform the timeline and effectiveness of cancer drug development. By implementing ADC approaches, we aim to offer cancer patients an additional, highly targeted platform that can make meaningful contributions in advancing the personalization of treatment, while also benefitting from synergies with our A.I. drug development platform,” concluded Sharma.