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GEN News Highlights : Apr 17, 2012

Catalent to Use Mammalian Cell Platform to Generate Nascent’s Anticancer Antibody

Company will use GPEx technology to express pritumumab for Phase I/II brain cancer trials.

Nascent Biologics signed an antibody development deal with Catalent Pharma Solutions through which the latter will use its GPEx® technology to engineer a cell line expressing Nascent’s pritumumab antibody for use in Phase I/II brain cancer trials. Clinical studies will initially be designed to validate early human trials indicating that treatment of glioma with pritumumab boosts five-year survival rates nine-fold, to about 27%.

Catalent offers comprehensive drug and biologic development services, delivery technologies, and supply solutions to the pharma and biopharma industry. Its GPEx technology has been developed to create stable, high-yielding mammalian cell lines efficiently and quickly. The deal with Nascent follows a couple of weeks after Catalent and BASF entered into a broad collaboration and open alliance that aims to generate new solutions for overcoming drug bioavailability challenges.

Nascent’s drug development approach is based on the premise that the most effective way to treat diseases such as cancer is to modulate natural immune response, using a combination of monoclonal antibodies and cytokines. To this end the firm is developing its MultiPharm™ and Uberkine™ platforms for potential applications in cancer therapy, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and transplantation therapy. MultiPharm uses multiple agents (antibodies and/or cytokines) while Uberkine is designed to generate a more complete immune response. Lead product pritumumab is a natural human antibody that has has been used to treat 250 brain cancer patients.