Zydus Cadila and therapeutic protein R&D firm Pieris have forged an alliance to develop and commercialize multiple novel Anticalin®-based protein therapeutics. Per the agreement, Zydus will advance Anticalin drug candidates through formal preclinical development and into clinical development. Zydus has been granted exclusive marketing rights in India and several other emerging markets, while Pieris will keep exclusive marketing rights in key developed markets. The companies aim to develop candidates to proof-of-concept and eventually to explore outlicensing opportunities in Pieris’ territories. The two firms will also share licensing revenues.

According to Pieris and Zydus, the most advanced program in the collaboration is PRS-110, an Anticalin specific for cancer target c-Met. PRS-110, a pure antagonist, can reportedly inhibit both ligand-dependent and -independent c-Met activity in different animal models.

“With Zydus’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and seasoned drug development team, this collaboration will allow Pieris to unlock value on a global scale in a cost-effective manner, significantly expanding the number of proprietary Anticalin programs we can advance into clinical trials,” Pieris CEO, Stephen Yoder, said in a statement.

Zydus isn’t the only firm interested in Anticalin-based protein therapeutics: In April, Sanofi expanded a discovery and development partnership with Pieris to include a novel multispecific Anticalin program. The original agreement was made in September of 2010.

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