Oxford BioTherapeutics said today it obtained exclusive global rights to some of Amgen’s  Xenomouse® antibodies and ImmunoGen's maytansinoid antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology, with plans to develop a new ADC targeting an undisclosed protein in HER2-negative breast cancer. The value of those rights was not disclosed. 

The ADC development effort will focus on triple negative breast cancer, as well as other cancers where the target is expressed. Oxford BioTherapeutics identified the target using its Oxford Genome Anatomy Project (OGAP®) database, which includes data on more than 5,000 cancer cell membrane proteins and 7 million human protein peptide sequences—in all, three-fourths of all human proteins.

OGAP—which Oxford Bio says is one of the world’s largest proprietary proteomic databases—is designed to integrate clinical, experimental and expression data from human protein sequences, tissues and cancers.

Oxford BioTherapeutics said it obtained rights to the Amgen antibody under an existing strategic collaboration with the biotech giant to developing fully human Xenomouse® antibodies based on targets discovered with OGAP. Xenomouse creates a fully human monoclonal antibody that contains no mouse protein.

Amgen additionally has an ongoing collaboration to use ImmunoGen’s technology and antibody expertise toward ADCs that attach ImmunoGen’s cancer-cell killing agents to antibodies for targeted delivery to cancer cells.

“Obtaining these global rights represents a further strategic milestone for Oxford BioTherapeutics, as we complete our transition into a fully fledged antibody-based cancer therapy business,” Christian Rohlff, Ph.D., the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “By combining these antibodies and antibody 'arming' technology with our unique cancer target, we have the opportunity to develop an important new treatment for women with triple negative breast cancer who currently have limited therapeutic options.”

Oxford BioTherapeutics’ pipeline incorporates a fully human antibody generated using Amgen's Xenomouse technology, combined with one of ImmunoGen's maytansinoid cancer-killing agents, which have been used in a recently approved ADC targeting HER2-positive breast cancer. That therapy has completed in vivo proof-of-concept in several solid and liquid tumor models and exploratory toxicology testing, and is currently undergoing preparation for an IND application, Oxford BioTherapeutics said.

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