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Jan 9, 2014

CytomX, ImmunoGen Team Up to Develop Cancer-Fighting Probody-Drug Conjugates

  • CytomX Therapeutics is collaborating with ImmunoGen to develop Probody-drug conjugate (PDC) therapies to treat cancer. The companies are planning to collaborate to develop PDCs against a defined number of targets.

    Each company will, per the agreement, retain full development control of PDC compounds resulting from its target selection and is responsible for testing, manufacturing, and commercialization. The agreement is also set up so that each company is entitled to receive clinical and post-approval milestone payments from the other company in addition to royalties from the sales of any marketed products produced as a result of the collaboration. 

    Probodies, developed by CytomX, are a class of antibody therapeutics that are described as potentially disruptive and that could localize therapeutic activity to the tumor microenvironment, broadening the opportunities for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).The firms say this collaboration is bringing together CytomX’ antibody masking technology and tumor-selective protease substrates with ImmunoGen’s ADC cell-killing agents and engineered linkers. 

    “We believe using our state-of-the-art ADC technology with CytomX’ highly promising Probody platform will enable us to develop therapies particularly well-suited for certain challenging cancers,” said ImmunoGen's CEO and evp, John Lambert, Ph.D., in a statement.

    Both CytomX and ImmunoGen have made deals with other companies regarding their respective platforms within the past year. This past June, CytomX began a collaboration with Pfizer—one said to be worth up to $635 million—to develop and commercialize several ADCs for cancer using the Probody drug-development platform. Also, in October, Novartis agreed to license ImmunoGen’s Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) ADC technology to develop new anticancer therapeutics for an undisclosed target. The TAP deal is said to be potentially worth over $200 million.



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