CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Biocytogen | November 28, 2022
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. announced that it has entered into an evaluation and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics SA. Biocytogen will grant ADC Therapeutics a license to evaluate Biocytogen’s proprietary antibodies against three tumor targets, with an option to license selected antibodies at a later date for global ADC development and commercialization. Biocytogen reserves all global rights for these antibodies beyond ADC development. Biocytogen will receive an upfront payment. For each option exercised, Biocytogen will be entitled to an option-exercise fee, and development and commercial milestone payments, which potentially total tens of millions of US dollars, as well as single-digit royalties on net sales.
Under the agreement, Biocytogen will provide ADC Therapeutics with monoclonal and/or biparatopic antibodies directed against three tumor targets, generated through Biocytogen’s Project Integrum. ADC Therapeutics will carry out feasibility studies and be responsible for further development and commercialization of the ADC products if the company exercises an option.
“ADC Therapeutics is a leader in the development and commercialization of ADCs. We believe this collaboration with ADC Therapeutics will underscore the value of Biocytogen’s proprietary antibody discovery and screening platforms. We’ve been dedicated to expanding the possibilities of antibody-based therapeutics in disease treatment, through the exploration of new types of targets and modalities through Project Integrum. The combination of Biocytogen’s strength in antibody development with ADC Therapeutics’ expertise and track record in payload and linker technology may lead to the generation of novel ADC medicines for unmet medical needs in the future.”
Dr. Yuelei Shen, President and CEO of Biocytogen
“We are pleased to enter this collaboration with Biocytogen as we continue expanding our toolbox to realize the full potential of our ADC platform,” said Patrick van Berkel, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of ADC Therapeutics. “We look forward to evaluating the fully human antibodies from Biocytogen’s proprietary discovery platform, which have the potential to accelerate the development of our novel ADCs.”
Biocytogen is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based drugs with innovative technologies. Using its proprietary RenMabTM /RenLite® mice platforms for fully human monoclonal and bispecific antibody development, Biocytogen has integrated its in vivo drug efficacy screening platforms and strong clinical development expertise to streamline the entire drug development process. Biocytogen is undertaking a large-scale project to develop first-in-class and/or best-in-class antibody drugs for more than 1000 targets, known as Project Integrum. This project has resulted in 28 drug co-development agreements and 16 RenMiceTM licensing agreements with companies around the world, including several partnerships with multinational pharmaceutical companies (MNCs). The company's pipeline includes 12 core products, among which two products are in phase II multi-regional clinical trials and two products are in phase I. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai, Boston, USA and Heidelberg, Germany.
About ADC Therapeutics
ADC Therapeutics is a commercial-stage biotechnology company improving the lives of those affected by cancer with its next-generation, targeted antibody drug conjugates. The Company is advancing its proprietary PBD-based ADC technology to transform the treatment paradigm for patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.
ADC Therapeutics’ CD19-directed ADC ZYNLONTA is approved by the FDA for the treatment of relapsed or refractory diffuse large b-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy. ZYNLONTA is also in development in combination with other agents. In addition to ZYNLONTA, ADC Therapeutics has multiple ADCs in ongoing clinical and preclinical development.
Cajal Neuroscience | November 30, 2022
Cajal Neuroscience, a biotechnology company integrating human genetics, functional genomics and advanced microscopy to discover novel targets and therapeutics for neurodegeneration, launched today with the completion of a $96 million Series A financing. Cajal is uniquely focused on the mechanistic, spatial and temporal complexity of neurodegeneration, integrating deep expertise in neuroscience, neuroanatomy and computational biology with state-of-the-art technologies for high-throughput functional validation. The financing was led by The Column Group and Lux Capital, with additional participation from Two Sigma Ventures, Bristol Myers Squibb, Evotec, Alexandria Venture Investments, Dolby Family Ventures and other investors.
“We’ve all seen the challenges that face drug discovery in neurodegeneration. Cajal was founded to meet those challenges head-on by convening some of the best minds in the field and integrating a suite of cutting-edge technologies to identify and advance therapies for neurodegeneration in a completely new way. I truly believe our approach can revolutionize neurodegeneration drug discovery by understanding disease mechanisms with spatial and temporal resolution at unprecedented scale,”
Ignacio Muñoz-Sanjuán, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Cajal
“We want to get to the ground truth of neurodegenerative diseases. Cajal was started from grassroots, bringing together an incredible team of scientists, advisors and investors who share the long-term vision of building foundational systems to explore new pathways and targets and making a difference for patients suffering from neurodegeneration,” said Rob Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Board at Cajal.
Inspired by the pioneering work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, whose discoveries on the structural and functional organization of the brain became the foundation of modern neuroscience, Cajal seeks to transform the field of neurodegeneration by revealing the complex and dynamic mechanisms driving disease. Cajal’s platform combines state-of-the-art approaches and technologies, including integrative human genetics and multi-omics, highly multiplexed functional genomics and industrialized whole brain imaging. Through this approach, Cajal is systematically validating the thousands of targets implicated in diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and creating a comprehensive understanding of neurodegeneration that reveals how, where and when different mechanisms contribute to disease.
“The legendary neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal said that all outstanding work, in art as well as science, results from immense zeal applied to a great idea. That’s precisely why we raced to fund this team,” said Josh Wolfe, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Lux Capital. “When you get the rare combination of the leading scientific minds in neuroscience teaming up to work with cutting-edge visualization, sequencing and computational techniques, and to apply a never-before taken approach to discovering targets and drugs for neurodegenerative disease, you don’t walk slowly toward it -- you sprint for your life.”
Cajal’s leadership team includes world-class scientists and experienced biotechnology entrepreneurs who bring scientific rigor, drug development expertise and commitment to advancing therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
About Cajal Neuroscience
Cajal Neuroscience is a biotechnology company committed to discovering novel therapeutics for neurodegeneration by leveraging a powerful platform designed to reveal the mechanistic, spatial and temporal complexity of disease at unprecedented scale. Cajal combines a suite of state-of-the-art approaches and technologies, including integrative human genetics and multi-omics, high-throughput functional genomics and advanced microscopy, to accelerate neurodegeneration target and drug discovery. Cajal is headquartered in Seattle, WA.
Xilio Therapeutics, Inc. | November 28, 2022
Xilio Therapeutics, Inc. a biotechnology company developing tumor-activated immuno-oncology therapies for people living with cancer, announced that the company will host a live virtual program on Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 12:30 p.m. ET spotlighting Xilio’s clinical-stage molecule XTX301, a tumor-activated, engineered IL-12.
The event will feature Diwakar Davar, MBBS, M.Sc., a key opinion leader and assistant professor of medicine and a medical oncologist/hematologist from UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Davar will discuss the unmet medical need in treating patients with immunologically “cold” advanced solid tumors and the differences between “cold” and “hot” tumors in the tumor microenvironment as well as the potential for IL-12 as a compelling immunotherapy target across tumor types due to its ability to activate both the innate and adaptive immune system.
Xilio executives René Russo, Pharm.D., chief executive officer, Marty Huber, M.D., president and head of R&D, and Uli Bialucha, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, will discuss the company’s clinical-stage molecule, XTX301, a unique tumor-activated, engineered IL-12 designed to potently stimulate anti-tumor immunity and reprogram the TME of poorly immunogenic “cold” tumors towards an inflamed state, while limiting systemic toxicity. The Xilio team will also cover the adaptive design for the planned Phase 1 trial for XTX301 and anticipated clinical development timeline.
To register in advance for the webcast, please click here. A live webcast of the event will also be available under “Events and Presentations” in the Investors & Media section of Xilio’s.
Diwakar Davar, MBBS, M.Sc.
Dr. Davar is an assistant professor of medicine and a medical oncologist/hematologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He specializes in the management of advanced melanoma and the development of early phase studies to test novel immunotherapeutic approaches to treat advanced cancers. Dr. Davar is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He received his medical degree from National University of Singapore, and he completed both his residency and fellowship at UPMC. Dr. Davar is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Allegheny County Medical Society, American College of Physicians, and Singapore Medical Association.
About XTX301, a Tumor-Activated, Engineered IL-12
XTX301 is an investigational tumor-activated, engineered IL-12 molecule designed to potently stimulate anti-tumor immunity and reprogram the TME of poorly immunogenic “cold” tumors towards an inflamed state. IL-12 plays a key role in bridging innate and adaptive cellular immunity, making it a compelling target for immunotherapy. However, life-threatening toxicity observed with systemically active IL-12, including severe liver toxicity, have limited the therapeutic potential of IL-12 agents. In November 2022, Xilio announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the company’s investigational new drug application for the evaluation of XTX301 as a potential treatment for patients with advanced solid tumors.
About the Planned Phase 1 Clinical Trial for XTX301
The planned Phase 1 clinical trial for XTX301 is a first-in-human, multi-center, open-label trial designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of XTX301 as a monotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors.
About Xilio Therapeutics
Xilio Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing tumor-activated immuno-oncology therapies with the goal of significantly improving outcomes for people living with cancer without the systemic side effects of current I-O treatments. The company is using its proprietary platform to build a pipeline of novel, tumor-activated molecules, including cytokines and other biologics, which are designed to optimize their therapeutic index and localize anti-tumor activity within the tumor microenvironment. Xilio is currently advancing multiple programs for tumor-activated I-O treatments in clinical development, as well as programs in preclinical development.