April 18, 2016, Toronto, ON, Canada ImmunoBiochem Corporation, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company developing novel Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), and the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) have partnered to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of breast cancer and other solid tumors. Under the collaboration agreement, which also grants ImmunoBiochem an option for the exclusive licensing of new intellectual property, CCAB is supporting the development of fully-human therapeutic antibodies against ImmunoBiochem’s lead cancer target. ImmunoBiochem will then engineer the new antibodies into ADCs and intends to complete their preclinical development and take the new molecules into the clinic. The highest priority is to make new treatment options available for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) – a significant unmet medical need. TNBC, testing negative for hormone receptors and HER2, represents 15-20% of invasive breast cancers, is an aggressive disease with poor survival, and does not respond to major therapies.
“We are pleased to support ImmunoBiochem with our extensive antibody engineering expertise and pave the way for ADC therapeutics powered by our synthetic antibodies,” said Dr. Sachdev Sidhu, CEO of CCAB and a Professor at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto. “Unlike natural antibodies produced in animals, synthetic antibodies are rapidly made in the lab using phage display and advanced antibody engineering technologies to yield optimized therapeutic-grade candidates”.
ImmunoBiochem’s R&D is focused on the cancer cell secretome – the totality of proteins secreted by cancer cells. Select cancer targets are only secreted by cancer cells and accumulate in tumors, and can be exploited for targeted and selective delivery of cytotoxic payloads with ImmunoBiochem’s engineered ADC therapeutics.
“ImmunoBiochem’s lead target is a valuable cancer biomarker that is validated by a wealth of clinical data. The investment from CCAB helps us rapidly move from proof-of-concept to development-ready therapeutic candidates by tapping into state-of-the-art synthetic antibody technologies,” said Dr. Anton Neschadim, President and CEO of ImmunoBiochem. “We are looking to disrupt the world of ADC therapeutics with our secretome-targeted candidates, and this new partnership will be a major catalyst in advancing our ADC technology platform.”
Just last month, ImmunoBiochem has announced a new target discovery partnership, supported with funding from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). ImmunoBiochem builds on the capabilities of the Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry at York University and the expertise of Dr. Derek Wilson and his research group.
“Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to support this industry-academia partnership,” said Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. “By promoting collaborations between academics and industry like this one, Ontario is supporting ground-breaking work that helps people and the economy, and creates jobs.”
ImmunoBiochem is headquartered in Toronto, at the heart of Canada’s largest biomedical hub, and is supported by MaRS Health located at the MaRS Discovery District. MaRS Health provides ventures and entrepreneurs with access to counsel, resources and capital, and serves as a bridge between innovators and institutions, operating core programs to help grow global companies and bring about change in the healthcare system.
“Partnerships like this help promising ventures leverage Ontario’s vast biomedical research capabilities and infrastructure to commercialize Canadian intellectual property and bring breakthrough products and solutions to national and international markets,“ said Dianne Carmichael, Managing Director of Health Innovation and Ventures, in a statement.
ImmunoBiochem will be at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in New Orleans this month and CCAB will be at the RESI meeting in Toronto in June to discuss recent scientific advances and explore additional partnerships and investments.
About ImmunoBiochem Corporation
ImmunoBiochem is a privately held biopharmaceutical company that has developed a disruptive approach to targeting unique proteins in the secretomes of cancer cells with Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) - an emerging class of anticancer therapeutics that combine the selectivity of targeted biologics with the potency of highly cytotoxic small-molecule drugs. ImmunoBiochem has identified a class of molecular targets that are secreted by cancer cells, but not healthy cells. These cancer targets possess unique properties enabling the highly-selective delivery of toxic payloads to cancer cells with engineered ADC therapeutics, while leaving normal cells unharmed. ImmunoBiochem’s next-generation ADCs for oncology aim to offer a superior safety profile and broad therapeutic window, preventing on-target toxicities against normal, healthy cells that are common with many ADCs. Its lead candidates, IMB-101 and IMB-102, are being developed for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) – an aggressive disease for which no targeted biological therapeutic treatment options are currently available.
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