PolyTherics and Alpha Cancer Technologies Collaborate to Produce Novel Drug Conjugates to Target Tumours
LONDON and TORONTO, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –
ThioBridge(TM) linker to attach cytotoxic payloads to alpha fetoprotein
PolyTherics Limited (“PolyTherics”), an Abzena company that provides technologies and
services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals, today announced a
collaboration with Alpha Cancer Technologies Inc. (“ACT”), a Canadian company with a
targeted drug delivery platform based on alpha fetoprotein (“AFP”). PolyTherics will
produce a range of AFP drug conjugates for ACT to test using its proprietary
ACT has developed a novel drug delivery system based on AFP, a shuttle protein that
binds to AFP receptors, which are present in large amounts on the majority of cancer cells
but only rarely on healthy cells. AFP has been studied extensively and has been shown to
be safe in Phase I and II clinical studies involving over 400 patients. ACT’s lead product
(ACT-901), which is in preclinical development, will use AFP initially to deliver
paclitaxel to ovarian tumours.
PolyTherics has developed ThioBridge(TM) for site-specific conjugation of cytotoxic
payloads to disulfide bonds in proteins and antibodies to provide more stable and less
heterogeneous drug conjugates. Under the collaboration PolyTherics will conjugate AFP to a
derivative of a known cytotoxic drug using ThioBridge(TM) to produce a range of different
drug conjugates for testing.
John Burt, CEO of Abzena, commented: “We are excited to be working with ACT and to be
a part of the renaissance in interest in AFP as a delivery platform and look forward to
helping produce better drug conjugates to treat cancer.”
Igor Sherman, CEO of ACT, said: “We are looking forward to our collaboration with
PolyTherics which will allow us to expand our product pipeline using ThioBridge(TM)
technology. This technology represents an exceptional strategic fit for ACT in our efforts
to bring forward targeted cancer treatments which have the potential to significantly
improve cancer care for many patients.”
PolyTherics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abzena Limited, a group focused on
providing proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of
PolyTherics specializes in proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies for
antibody drug conjugate development (ThioBridge(TM)) and solutions for optimization of the
therapeutic properties of biopharmaceuticals (TheraPEG(TM), CyPEG(TM), HiPEG(TM) and
Abzena is the new name for the PolyTherics group, and is focused on providing
proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better
Abzena comprises two wholly owned subsidiary businesses – PolyTherics and Antitope -
which have established a broad suite of complementary technologies that are designed to
improve the chances of successful development of antibodies and proteins with enhanced
Antitope is an industry leader in immunogenicity assessment, protein engineering for
creating humanized antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins, and cell line
development for manufacture.
The group has built a global customer base over the past decade, including the top 10
pharma, large and small biotech, and academic groups.
Abzena is a privately owned UK company backed by institutional investors including
Imperial Innovations (AIM: IVO), Invesco Perpetual, Mercia Fund Management, Advantage
Enterprise & Innovation Fund (managed by Catapult Venture Partners), Capital Fund (managed
by YFM), ProVen Growth & Income VCT and Oxford Technology VCTs.
About Alpha Cancer Technologies
ACT is a drug delivery company with an innovative targeted chemotherapy delivery
platform for the treatment of cancer. ACT uses recombinant human alpha-fetoprotein to
selectively target cancer cells by delivering toxic chemotherapeutic agents exclusively to
these cells. This approach offers the benefits of much lower toxicity and greater efficacy
compared to conventional chemotherapy.
ACT is a private Canadian company based in Toronto, Ontario.
For more information, please contact:
For PolyTherics John Burt, CEO, Abzena Tel: +44-(0)20-7691-3580 Email: email@example.com Mark Swallow, Sita Shah or Chris Gardner Citigate Dewe Rogerson Tel: +44-(0)20-7638-9571 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For Alpha Cancer Technologies Richard Potts Tel: +1-(416)-464-2678 Email: email@example.com