Making ADCs with PBD

MedImmune, Regeneron ink licensing deal to produce antibody-drug conjugates using MedImmune's technology in search of potential cancer treatments

Kelsey Kaustinen
GAITHERSBURG, Md. & Tarrytown, N.Y.—MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. have team up in a newly announced licensing agreement under which the latter will apply MedImmune’s pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warhead and linker technology to produce antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) as potential cancer treatments.
 
“Developing next-generation antibody-drug conjugates, including our proprietary PBD technology, is one of our key strategic platforms in advancing cancer therapies. Today’s collaboration represents our third partnership in this area, as we look to grow our ADC portfolio both internally and externally,” said Ronald Herbst, vice president of Oncology Research & Development at MedImmune. “We are pleased to be working with Regeneron, a company that is committed to advancing scientific innovation in cancer treatments. Regeneron’s research capabilities complements our commitment to discovering and developing the next generation of cancer therapies.”
 
Per the terms of the agreement, Regeneron will gain exclusive rights to use MedImmune’s proprietary PBD technology to develop ADCs against several cancer targets. Though no specific details were disclosed, the deal stipulates that Regeneron will pay MedImmune an upfront payment, development and commercial milestone payments, as well as single-digit royalties on net sales of such products. In addition, MedImmune has the option to develop and commercialize certain products created with this technology in territories outside of the United States.
 
“We believe the most successful approaches to cancer R&D will combine multiple innovative therapies and technologies, and therefore we are pursuing a diverse array of strategies, pathways and modalities including ADCs, bispecific antibodies and monocolonal antibodies,” Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, chief scientific officer of Regeneron and president of Regeneron Laboratories, commented in a statement. “This new agreement will further bolster our efforts to advance new, effective treatment options for cancer patients in need.”
 
Regeneron’s clinical oncology pipeline includes a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor antibody, which is being developed in collaboration with Sanofi, and a CD20xCD3 bispecific antibody. The company expects to advance multiple additional candidates into human clinical trials over the next one to two years.
 
Regeneron also announced earlier this month, together with Sanofi, that two of its placebo-controlled Phase 3 studies evaluating dupilumab, an IL-4R antibody being developed for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma, in adults with inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe AD had met their primary endpoints. In LIBERTY AD SOLO 1 and SOLO 2, patients treated with dupilumab as a monotherapy saw significant improvement in the measures of overall disease severity, skin clearing, itching, quality of life and mental health.

Kelsey Kaustinen

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