Cellectar and Pierre Fabre announce oncology research collaboration


Collaboration will advance the use of Cellectar’s phospholipid drug conjugate (PDC) platform to improve the delivery of Pierre Fabre’s cytotoxics

Pierre Fabre and Cellectar Biosciences have announced a research collaboration designed to combine Cellectar’s proprietary PDC delivery platform with a selection of Pierre Fabre’s proprietary cytotoxics.

These new small-molecule-drug-conjugate products (SMDCs) are designed to exhibit high selectivity towards cancer cells to expand their therapeutic index and provide improved clinical performance to otherwise highly potent agents.

Phospholipid drug conjugates (PDCs) are a new class of small molecules that employ Cellectar’s extensively validated phospholipid ether-based cancer targeting and delivery vehicle. The PDC platform possesses the ability to incorporate diverse oncologic payloads for targeted delivery to a broad range of solid and liquid tumours, including brain metastases and cancer stem cells.

The primary objective of the research collaboration is to co-design a library of constructs and to achieve in vivo proof of concept of the superiority of these PDCs to the corresponding naked payloads. Thanks to their remarkable lipid raft-mediated distribution properties, PDCs are expected to provide enhanced therapeutic indices to otherwise highly potent payloads. Pierre Fabre will provide the payloads and its know-how in the design of natural product-derived active conjugates, as well as its prior expertise into SMDCs.

Cellectar will provide its proprietary PDC platform technology and will be in charge of conducting the drug discovery programme up to preclinical stage and, should it be successful, to clinical evaluation. Pierre Fabre has been granted the option to license any, or all, of the new drug conjugates developed as part of the research collaboration, whereas Cellectar will own all intellectual property (IP) associated with the new drug conjugates.

‘We are very pleased to be working with Pierre Fabre, an internationally respected and highly innovative pharmaceutical company with an impressive oncology research and development programme,’ said Jim Caruso, President and CEO of Cellectar Biosciences. This collaboration represents further validation of the potential for our PDC delivery platform to provide targeted delivery of diverse oncologic payloads and is a significant milestone since the introduction of our CTX programme in August.’

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‘We are very excited to collaborate with Cellectar Biosciences,’ said Laurent Audoly, Head of R&D of Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals. ‘We are convinced that Cellectar’s proprietary technology will provide our cytotoxic molecules with tissue specificity and enhanced safety, which are typically lacking with untargeted agents. This partnership will strengthen our ongoing research programme in innovative oncology solutions.’