Making a deal on ADCs

Trio Pharmaceuticals and Ajinomoto enter into development collaboration

SAN DIEGO & SAN FRANCISCO—This spring, Trio Pharmaceuticals Inc., a cancer therapeutics company developing novel antibody drugs (TRIObody and TRIObody Drug Conjugate, or TDC), and Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing services, announced a development agreement.
 
Under this deal, they will evaluate AJICAP, a proprietary site-specific conjugation technology offered by Aji Bio-Pharma for the development of TDC candidates. The AJICAP technology will be used to conjugate a cytotoxic payload to Trio’s lead oncology candidate, with Trio evaluating functionality of the TDC.
 
TDCs are a first-in-class kind of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) with dual functionality that utilizes targeted payload delivery to stop both tumor growth and immunosuppression. By generating a less immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, TDC reportedly enhances activation of tumor-specific immune effector cells, further facilitating cancer cell destruction.
 
AJICAP is a site-specific conjugation technology compatible with various antibody modalities. AJICAP’s advantage is its “off-the-shelf” feature, allowing any antibody drug at any stage of development to be conjugated to drug payloads of choice without the need to modify the sequence.
 
“The AJICAP conjugation technology marks a new beginning in the ADC field, allowing generation of ADCs with site-specific conjugation without change in antibody sequence, a rate-limiting step in the development of site-specific ADCs,” said Dr. Shiva Bhowmik, CEO of Trio Pharmaceuticals. “Setting an early collaboration with Aji Bio-Pharma will ease our cGMP plans for clinical development.”
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