In October 2014, Catalent acquired its technology partner Redwood Bioscience and along with gaining the SMARTag ADC technology platform the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) added several potential therapies.
Last week the firm announced it had licensed one of these - CD22-4AP, targeting CD22 which is a clinically validated ADC target with potential in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Acute Lymphoid Leukemia – to Ontario, Canada-headquartered Triphase Accelerator Corporation.
Under terms of the deal, Catalent will receive an upfront payment and potential development and commercial milestone payments, plus a royalty on product sales. Triphase will also contract with Catalent for development, manufacturing and analytical services.
According to Mike Riley, general manager of Catalent Biologics, while the firm has other proprietary ADCs in development utilising the SMARTag technology, it has no plans to become a product company itself.
However, he told Biopharma-Reporter, licensing out Redwood’s legacy pipeline “complements our primary business model which is to license our SMARTag technology to partners for their bioconjugate development.”
“Our model is to license these molecules early in development to partners that can further advance them into the clinic and to the market.”
He added that partners such as Triphase are under no obligation to use Catalent’s own supporting services and the CDMO is “flexible in [its] approach depending on [its] partner’s needs and infrastructure.”
Protein conjugate demand
A number of other CDMOs have invested in ADC technologies over the past few years – Carbogen Amcis, Fujifilm, Lonza, Novasep, to name a few – but there remains only two such products commercially available: Seattle Genetics/Takeda’s Adcetris, and Genentech’s Kadcyla.
Despite this, Riley said Catalent has seen continued strong growth in the ADC clinical pipeline over the past couple of years, and also a large number of products in pre-clinical development.
“Areas like immuno-oncology and other new therapeutic modalities like gene and cell therapy are growing substantially, but people are continuing to show strong interest in protein conjugates as a key part of their R&D strategy, both in oncology and other therapeutic areas,” he said.