Collaboration will leverage F.I.R.S.T platform to identify antibodies targeting myeloid cells in solid tumors.

BioInvent and Cancer Research Technology (CRT) established a collaboration with Queen Mary College, University of London, focused on identifying new anticancer antibodies. CRT is the commercial arm of Cancer Research U.K.

BioInvent and Queen Mary scientists funded by Cancer Research U.K. will apply BioInvent’s F.I.R.S.T.™ platform to search for new therapeutic targets. A team headed by Cancer Research U.K. investigator Thorsten Hagemann, Ph.D., will in return provide biological pathways for the development of new therapies. BioInvent retains the option to negotiate licenses to develop resulting antibody candidates in return for milestones and royalties to CRT.

Based on the firm’s n-CoDeR® antibody library, the F.I.R.S.T. (functional interrogation of recombinant) screening system is designed to enable the identification of functionally superior antibodies against cell surface receptor targets. The combined target and drug discovery platform utilizes patient primary cancer cells as an antigen source rather than recombinant proteins, providing the opportunity to evaluate clinically relevant receptors and epitopes and target receptor function.

The collaboration with Dr. Hagemann’s team will focus primarily on targets that affect the tumor-promoting role of myeloid cells in solid malignancies. “Tumor-associated macrophages are increasingly recognized as important players in cancer,” explains Phil L’Huillier, M.D., CRT’s director of business development. “Bringing together BioInvent’s antibody discovery platform with Dr. Hagemann’s expertise in the macrophage field provides this collaboration with a unique blend of skills to develop multiple therapeutic projects with the potential to benefit cancer patients.”

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