The terms of the agreement give Daiichi Sankyo exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Glycotope’s investigational tumor-associated TA-MUC1 antibody, gatipotzumab, as an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC).
Glycotope will receive an upfront payment and is eligible for further milestone payments and royalties. The licensing agreement will also give Daiichi Sankyo the right to research and develop gatipotuzumab as an ADC worldwide and to conduct all clinical trials and non-clinical studies in all countries, said Glycotope representative, Chris Gardner.
Gardner continued, “The agreement is part of Glycotope’s immuno-oncology strategy. Glycotope is partnering products from early pre-clinical to advanced clinical stage while bringing forward its in-house pipeline.”
ADC to target tumors
According to Jennifer Brennan, Daiichi Sankyo spokesperson, ADCs are targeted cancer medicines that deliver cytotoxic chemotherapy to cancer cells through a linker that is attached to a monoclonal antibody. This antibody then binds to a target expressed in cancer cells.
“Gatipotuzumab ADC is a potential first-in-class TA-MUC1-targeting antibody-drug conjugate. With the licensing of gatipotuzumab for the purposes of combining with its ADC platform, Daiichi Sankyo now has seven novel ADCs in development within its investigational ADC franchise” said Brennan.
He continued, “Daiichi Sankyo’s proprietary ADC linker-payload technology will be applied to gatipotzumab antibody to potentially directly deliver the payload to cancer cells that express the TA-MUC1 antigen, which is extensively expressed in many tumor types including ovarian, lung and breast.”
The ADC will target ovarian, lung and breast cancer tumors. This licensing agreement is set to build on the previous option from 2017, where Daiichi Sankyo and Glycotope signed an option agreement to develop an ADC PankoMab-GEX, the former name of gatipotuzumab.