3E8 targets the tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 antigen.

Enlyton signed an agreement for exclusive, worldwide rights to develop a mAb from ViroMed for cancer detection and targeted drug delivery. Under the terms of the agreement, Enlyton will pay ViroMed an up-front fee of $100,000, milestone payments totaling $4.6 million, and additional royalties based on revenues.

The deal covers 3E8, designed to target the tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 (TAG-72) antigen. In preclinical testing, 3E8 showed a higher affinity to TAG-72 and had a lower immune response compared with previous TAG-72-specific mAb diagnostic imaging agents, ViroMed reports.

TAG-72 is expressed (50–90%) in various epithelial derived cancers such as colonic adenocarcinomas, invasive ductal breast carcinomas, non-small-cell lung carcinomas, epithelial ovarian carcinomas, and most pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal cancers, according to the companies.

ViroMed is located in Seoul and has a U.S. presence in Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area. The company says that its main areas of focus are DNA/protein-based biopharmaceuticals and phytotherapeutics (botanical drugs/nutraceuticals). ViroMed has five developmental candidates targeting cardiovascular disease, cancer, and immune-related disorders. Clinical trials are ongoing in the U.S., Korea, and China.

Enlyton molecular targeting strategy is focused on improving existing molecular imaging, enabling better detection of cancer during surgery, and providing a vehicle for targeted drug delivery. Its technology reportedly improves PET by providing images that more accurately reflect the extent of disease. The company reports that it is currently raising capital to prepare its targeting agent for use in a Phase I imaging trial.

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