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GEN News Highlights : Apr 6, 2011

Oxford BioTherapeutics Licenses BioWa Platform to Develop Antibody Therapeutics

Firm will use new technology to improve ADCC of preclinical-stage anticancer candidates.

Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) has taken a license to BioWa’s Potelligent® platform for use in the development of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) therapeutics. The firm will harness the Potelligent technology to develop and commercialize antibody therapeutics from its pipeline of preclinical anticancer antibodies against targets identified using its OGAP® (Oxford Genome Anatomy Project) proteomics database.

“Our strategy is to combine novel proprietary oncology targets with world-leading antibody technologies, such as Potelligent technology, to develop highly efficacious new cancer drugs,” remarks Christian Rohlff, OBT CEO. “The OBT cancer-specific antibody portfolio has matured to an advanced stage where coupling to BioWa’s Potelligent Technology enhances already promising anticancer agents and further enables our clinical development pipeline,” adds Jon Terrett, svp for oncology.

BioWa’s Potelligent technology is designed to boost the potency and efficacy of ADCC. The platform essentially reduces the amount of fucose in the carbohydrate structure of an antibody using a fucosyltransferase-knockout CHO cell line as the production cell. A number of Potelligent antibodies are already being evaluated in clinical trials, BioWa notes.

OBT is focused on the development of targeted antibody-based drugs for cancer. The firm’s strategy is to use work with antibody companies to develop therapeutics and diagnostics against targets and biomarkers discovered using  OGAP. In parallel, OBT provides target and biomarker discovery and screening services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

OBT claims the OGAP database is one of the world’s largest human protein databases, built on disease protein information generated in house, coupled with genetic and clinical data from 50 different human tissues, including 5,000 cancer membrane proteins. The overall platform provides data on 58 disease states to support the identification of new disease mechanisms and novel drug targets for drug development, as well as associated surrogate biomarkers.  

OBT currently has cancer antibody therapeutic or biomarker/diagnostics collaborations in place with firms including GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, Medarex and Biosite. The firm is also collaborating with the Oxford University-GE Healthcare consortium to develop a range of molecular tools for colorectal cancer detection and patient stratification.

In January sanofi-aventis negotiated an exclusive license to one of OBT’s preclinical antibodies against a novel target. The firm said sanofi-aventis intends to use the antibody for the development of antibody drug conjugates against cancer.