Telix Pharmaceuticals secured options to acquire Therapeia and Atlab Pharma as part of separate agreements to develop the two firms' radiolabeled anticancer candidates. The deals with Therapeia and Atlab follow just days after Telix acquired global rights to Wilex’s radiolabeled girentuximab candidate Redectane®.
Germany-based Therapeia’s lead product ACD-101 is a synthetic amino acid targeting the L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1). The candidate is in clinical development as a radiolabeled diagnostic for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and as a radiolabeled therapeutic candidate for the potential treatment of glioblastoma and other aggressive cancers. The firms say that more than 100 patients have been successfully imaged with ACD-101 to study biodistribution and kinetics, including patients with inoperable brain tumors. Clinical pilot studies for the therapeutic forms of ACD-101 have started in Europe.
Telix has been established to develop and commercialize late-stage oncology assets, with a focus on theranostic radiopharmaceuticals that can simultaneously image and treat cancer. Commenting on the Therapeia partnershp, Telix CEO, Chris Behrenbruch, stated, “ACD-101 is a unique multiaction agent that has the potential to deliver something really new to the management of several very challenging malignancies, particularly glioblastoma. Early patient experience in Germany has demonstrated promising therapeutic results, and we are excited to be working with the Therapeia team to take this program forward to Phase II and beyond.” Therapeia’s managing director, Dr. Andreas Kluge, will join Telix as co-founder and chief medical officer.
Nantes, France-based Atlab’s radiolabeled huJ591 mAb targets prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Under terms of the deal with Telix, the latter will finance manufacturing and clinical development of huJ591 labeled with 177Lu (lutetium-177) and with 211At (astatine-211). The partners will collaborate on manufacturing and will carry out a Phase IIb clinical trial in men with metastatic prostate cancer, using both radiolabeled huJ591 alone and in combination with end-stage chemotherapy.
“PSMA-targeting radiopharmaceuticals have shown great promise in both the diagnostic and therapeutic settings, dramatically increasing the interest in targeted radionuclide therapy by mainstream biopharma,” commented Behrenbruch. “The 177Lu-huJ591 program is the most clinically advanced PSMA program and has extensive patient experience, including in conjunction with anti-androgens and chemotherapy.” Atlab’s co-founder and chief medical adviser, Professor Jean-François Chatal, added, “In the clinic, we have seen targeted radionuclide therapy deliver impressive treatment responses, even in late-stage patients. We are especially keen to use programs like 177Lu-huJ591 in conjunction with other immuno-oncology agents that have generally demonstrated lackluster performance in the metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer setting.” Professor Chatal will join Telix’s scientific advisory board.