New year, new ADC deal: Abzena teams up with BiVictriX, Iksuda taps LegoChem again, Genmab secures access to Dutch tech

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Cecilie_Arcurs
© GettyImages/Cecilie_Arcurs

Related tags antibody-drug conjugates

The past few weeks have witnessed a plethora of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) related deals.

BiVictriX Therapeutics plc, an emerging UK biotech has formed an ADC manufacturing partnership with contract development and manufacturing organization, Abzena Ltd.

The collaboration, it said, will allow BiVictriX to cost-effectively manufacture its anti-cancer ADCs for use in pre-clinical models without the need for extensive manufacturing facilities of its own.

Production will be carried out in two cycles: the first cycle being ADC manufacturing for proof-of-concept studies; and the second one covering ADC lead selection and optimization.

The partnership comes three months after BiVictriX listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, raising gross proceeds of £7.5m.

Tiffany Thorn, CEO of BiVictriX Therapeutics plc, commented: “Utilizing Abzena’s extensive knowledge in the field will be highly valuable as we look to expedite the development of our lead candidate, BVX001, and additional pipeline candidates towards achieving key pre-clinical milestones.”

Iksuda nabs Her2 ADC program

The past month has also seen LegoChem Biosciences Inc (LCB) and Iksuda Therapeutics announce an expansion of their existing research collaboration and licensing​ deal.

The South Korean firm has licensed out its Her2 ADC program, LCB-14, to the UK biotechnology company. The agreement gives Iksuda exclusive world-wide rights (excluding Greater China and South Korea) to LCB-14.

LCB will receive US$50m in an up-front payment and near-term milestones, and up to US$950m in developments, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Iksuda anticipates that LCB-14 will enter a phase 1 clinical trial program in the US during Q3 2022.

LCB-14 is under license from LCB to Fosun Pharma for Greater China, and Fosun is currently conducting a phase 1 clinical trial in China in patients with breast cancer.

Iksuda is focused on the development of ADCs targeting difficult-to-treat hematological and solid tumors; its pipeline of ADCs is centered on a portfolio of non-prodrug/prodrug DNA and protein alkylating payloads in combination with stable conjugation chemistries.

It completed a US$47m financing round in June last year, which was co-led by Celltrion, Mirae Asset Capital and its subsidiaries, along with Premier Partners. The financing was aimed at supporting  the advancement of its lead ADC assets, and the expansion of its payload platform technologies.

Genmab seals deal with Synaffix

Another ADC deal was announced on January 4, with Danish company, Genmab, reporting it had secured broad access to Synaffix’s ADC technologies.

Under the terms of that agreement, the Netherlands headquartered company will receive an upfront payment of US$4.5m, with a total deal value of up to US$415m plus tiered single digit royalties on sales of successfully commercialized therapies.

Synaffix’s business model is target-specific technology out-licensing, as illustrated by its existing deals with ADC Therapeutics, Mersana Therapeutics, Shanghai Miracogen, Innovent Biologics, ProfoundBio and Kyowa Kirin.

The company’s GlycoConnect and HydraSpace technologies are designed to significantly enhance efficacy and tolerability in ADCs.

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