Sanquin and Synthon enter oncology deal

Exclusive global deal revolves around immuno-oncology therapeutic leads that modulate the CD47-SIRPα pathway

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NIJMEGEN & AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands—Synthon Biopharmaceuticals BV, an international biopharmaceutical company that is focused on developing new molecular entities for treating cancer and autoimmune diseases, announced March 2 that it had entered a license and collaboration agreement for the development of novel immuno-oncology antibodies with Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation in Amsterdam.
Under the terms of the agreement, Synthon has obtained worldwide exclusive rights to Sanquin’s know-how, lead antibodies and intellectual property regarding the CD47-SIRPα pathway to develop new immuno-oncology treatments. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
CD47 is a broadly expressed membrane protein that interacts with the myeloid inhibitory immunoreceptor SIRPα (also termed CD172a or SHPS-1). When SIRPα engages with CD47, it provides a downregulatory signal that inhibits host cell phagocytosis, and CD47 therefore acts as a “don’t-eat-me” signal. Blocking CD47-SIRPα interactions promotes the destruction of, for example, cancer cells by phagocytes through antibody-dependent mechanisms.
“We are particularly pleased with this license and collaboration agreement, which combines Sanquin’s outstanding research capabilities with Synthon’s biopharmaceutical drug development and manufacturing excellence,” said Dr. Marco Timmers, chief scientific officer of Synthon. “This will enable us to accelerate the availability of important new therapeutic treatment options for cancer patients who may benefit from these.”
Dr. René van Lier, director of research and member of the executive board at Sanquin, added: “The collaboration agreement with Synthon, with their knowledge of next-generation medicines, is a great example of Sanquin's efforts to provide patients with innovative therapeutic treatment options.”
Sanquin is responsible for the blood supply in the Netherlands on a not-for-profit basis, its work made possible by hundreds of thousands of non-remunerated blood donors. The core activity is safe and efficient production and distribution of blood and plasma products for the treatment of patients. Sanquin conducts scientific research, adding to its knowledge of blood and transfusion medicine. 
Synthon, with headquarters in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is an international pharmaceutical company and a leader in the field of generic medicines. The company started its biopharmaceutical franchise in 2007 and is building what is calls “a promising portfolio of innovative next-generation medicines.” As part of this progression, Synthon is developing into a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the therapeutic areas of oncology and auto-immune diseases.

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