Oxford BioTherapeutics licenses Nerviano's drug-linker technology


To develop novel antibody drug conjugates

Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT), a developer of innovative Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer, has signed a licensing agreement with Italian firm Nerviano Medical Sciences (Nerviano), a developer of breakthrough treatments for cancer.

Under the agreement, OBT will use Nerviano’s novel ‘payload’ (drug-linker) technology to expand its ADC development portfolio, which is designed to meet multiple unmet needs in the field of cancer.

Nerviano will receive undisclosed fees, development linked milestones and royalties for granting OBT access to its technology. Nerviano will lead the effort in the manufacture and supply of its novel drug-linker technology.

OBT has licensed Nerviano’s payload technology for an exclusive OBT target for development of an ADC.

The agreement also allows for evaluation of additional ADC development candidates with favourable activity/safety profiles, for which OBT will have the opportunity to exercise options to further licences to the drug-linker technology on an antigen-exclusive basis.

OBT’s current ADC pipeline has been generated using the company’s proprietary OGAP targeting platform, and includes novel antibodies and proven drug-linker technologies accessed from leading companies in the field. The deal with Nerviano gives OBT access to a new payload technology based on a next-generation duocarmycin analogue.

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Nerviano’s novel drug-linker technology of new DNA intercalating agents is based on a proprietary thienoindole scaffold, characterised both by potent anti-tumour activity and by physicochemical properties that are highly compatible with deployment as antibody payloads. Nerviano’s core technologies in the field further include: medicinal chemistry expertise, know-how for establishing proof of concept, GMP manufacturing of payloads as well as efficacy and safety profiling of ADC’s.