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GEN News Highlights : May 5, 2011

Algeta Signs Deal to Combine Thorium Platform with Affibody’s Tumor-Targeting Molecules

Affibodies targeting Her2 and PDGFR-beta will be evaluated for its ability to deliver thorium-227 to cancer cells.

Algeta negotiated access to two of Affibody’s antibody-like tumor-targeting molecules for use in combination with its thorium-227 anticancer platform. The two Affibody® molecules target HER2 on breast cancers and PDGFRβ, which is involved in solid tumor angiogenesis. The firms will work together to evaluate whether the Affibodies can effectively carry the thorium-227 payload and target cancer cells. Algeta will also have access to Affibody’s Albumod™ platform for optimizing the two Affibody molecules in terms of half-life extension.

Under terms of the deal, Algeta will pay Affibody a signing fee and potential future milestones and will shoulder all preclinical, clinical, and commercialization activities for resulting candidates. The firm in addition retains an exclusive license for use of the Affibody molecules against the designated targets in its therapeutic field.

Affibody has created a library of over ten billion Affibody molecules based on a second-generation scaffold, from which binders to given targets are selected. The firm says that as well as potential applications in cancer therapy, Affibody molecules with specificity and selectivity for tumor markers can be used for the noninvasive early detection of tumors and to monitor disease by detecting tumor progression or regression in response to cancer therapy.

Affibody separately offers its complementary Albumod technology for outlicensing. The albumin-binding, protein-based platform is designed to enhance the efficacy of biopharmaceuticals by extending their circulatory half life. In October 2010, Amylin negotiated a license to use the technology with a number of its library compounds.