WILEX subsidiary Heidelberg Pharma extends research collaboration with Roche
- Collaboration extended to research selected ATACs for multiple tumour targets based on Roche antibodies
- Furthermore, Heidelberg Pharma grants Roche exclusive rights to one additional tumour target previously reserved for in-house development
- For the new additional tumour target Heidelberg Pharma will receive upfront and potential milestone payments for successful clinical development and regulatory approval plus royalties
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Munich, Germany, 14 October 2014 – WILEX AG (ISIN DE000A11QVV0 / WL6 / FSE) today announced that WILEX subsidiary Heidelberg Pharma and Roche extended the existing 2013 licence agreement to apply the antibody drug conjugate (ADC) technology for the further development of Roche antibodies. The aim is to identify and develop novel Antibody Targeted Amanitin Conjugates (ATACs) based on Heidelberg Pharma’s patented technology to couple α-Amanitin to antibodies.
Under the extended licence agreement, Heidelberg Pharma will receive an upfront payment and further regular payments for granting access to its technology and providing research services to Roche, which has the opportunity to exercise options for licences to develop and market selected ATACs. Heidelberg Pharma will manufacture these substances for clinical research and receive undisclosed milestone payments and royalties for each development candidate selected.
Furthermore, exclusive rights to one additional undisclosed tumour target will be granted to Roche. For this target Heidelberg Pharma could potentially receive up to EUR 52 million in upfront and milestone payments for successful clinical development and regulatory approval plus royalties.
Dr Jan Schmidt-Brand, Managing Director of Heidelberg Pharma GmbH and CEO/CFO of WILEX AG, commented: “This extension provides a number of interesting opportunities. We are pleased to extend our collaboration to include additional Roche targets and the in-house target that WILEX had previously reserved for later development. As with many of these early research collaborations, our operating costs are covered by upfront payments and fees; the full value will potentially come later in the development cycle. We work together on the same aim to ultimately benefit patients.”
α-Amanitin is a bicyclic peptide naturally occurring in the green Death Cap mushroom. It potently inhibits the biosynthesis of RNA, a mechanism that is critical for the survival of cells. Accordingly, ATACs exhibit comparable activity against proliferating and resting tumour cells. This proliferation independent activity differentiates ATACs from other ADCs, which preferentially target proliferating tumour cells. As an additional advantage ATACs could offer a substantial capability to overcome the resistance mechanisms that might limit the efficacy of other antibody drug conjugates. The ATACs tested so far have shown strong anti-tumour activity in several preclinical tumour models.
About Heidelberg Pharma
Heidelberg Pharma GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of WILEX AG and is located in Ladenburg, Germany. The Company offers services for the preclinical drug discovery and development including explorative pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) analysis and molecular biology in oncology or inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. The services are dedicated to a high grade of flexibility, efficient realisation and high quality. Heidelberg Pharma’s R&D flagship is its proprietary 2nd generation ADC technology platform (ATAC) for more effective anti-cancer drugs.
WILEX AG is a biopharmaceutical company based in Munich, Germany. The Company’s portfolio includes two Phase III diagnostic and therapeutic product candidates for the specific detection and targeted treatment of clear cell renal cell carcinoma based on the antibody Girentuximab which is available for out-licencing. WILEX AG is listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: ISIN DE000A11QVV0 / WKN A11QVV / Symbol WL6. More information is available at www.wilex.com
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