Avacta inks collaboration deal with ADC Therapeutics
Biotechnology company Avacta Group has entered a collaboration and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics, which it described as a Switzerland-based clinical-stage oncology-focused biotechnology company pioneering the development of “highly potent and targeted” antibody-drug conjugates for patients suffering from haematological malignancies and solid tumours.
The AIM-traded firm said the agreement was to develop Affimer-drug conjugates combining Avacta's ‘Affimer’ technology with ADC Therapeutics' pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warhead and linker technologies.
As part of the multi-target collaboration, Avacta would generate and optimise Affimer binders against three undisclosed cancer targets and provide those to ADC Therapeutics to target its proprietary cytotoxic warheads (PBDs) to the site of the tumour.
ADC Therapeutics would carry out pre-clinical research and development programmes to evaluate each of the Affimer-drug conjugates, with a view to generating clinical candidates.
The commercial agreement between the two companies would provide ADC Therapeutics with options, on a target-by-target basis, to obtain exclusive licenses to the Affimer proteins for clinical development and commercialisation.
Under the terms of the agreement, ADC Therapeutics would cover all of Avacta's costs during the collaboration.
Upon ADC Therapeutics entering into each of the commercialisation licenses and successfully bringing new Affimer-drug conjugates to market, Avacta would receive option fees, development and commercialisation milestones, as well as a single-digit royalty on sales.
Further financial details were not being disclosed, the board said.
“I am delighted to have established this collaboration with ADC Therapeutics to develop drug conjugates that harness the benefits of Affimer proteins to selectively and efficiently target ADC Therapeutics' PBD drugs to the site of the tumour,” said Avacta chief executive officer Alastair Smith.
“We are very excited about the potential of this collaboration to develop breakthrough oncology treatments, and about its considerable commercial value to Avacta.
“We look forward to working closely with the ADC Therapeutics team to generate new Affimer-drug conjugates and advance these promising cancer treatments into the clinic,” Dr Smith added.