Glythera launch project to bring new oncology focused therapies

Published: 6-Jun-2017

Glythera launch UK government funded project to develop safer and more efficacious ADCs for the treatment of difficult to treat tumours

Biotherapeutics are an integral part of modern medicine, particularly in the oncology space, due to their efficacious properties and ability to target specific molecules within the human body.

The Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) field is a key area within the protein and antibody engineering industry.

ADCs are complex molecules composed of an antibody linked to a biological active cytotoxic (anti-cancer) drug. A stable link between the antibody and cytotoxic agent is a crucial aspect of an ADC.

Glythera specialises in the development of next generation biotherapeutics, through the application of its advanced proprietary linker and stable glycan technologies: PermaLink and PermaCarb.

Glythera recently launched a £1 million Innovate UK grant-funded project, to develop next generation ADCs for difficult to treat tumours using its proprietary non-maleimide conjugation platform, PermaLink, in combination with its portfolio of novel toxins and antibodies.

ADCs are an emerging class of targeted therapeutics in the fight against cancer. By combining the targeting power of antibodies with the cell killing capability of highly potent toxins, ADCs have the potential to kill tumour cells whilst limiting damage to healthy tissues, and to improve patient outcomes over traditional chemotherapy.

With Innovate UK’s support, we aim to build a portfolio of much needed, safe treatments to improve the lives of patients living with these devastating cancers.

Glythera’s PermaLink-based ADCs have the potential to improve clinical utility through their significantly enhanced conjugation stability, which results in an improved therapeutic index and overall tumour response.

This project aims to develop a portfolio of PermaLink-based ADCs by combining novel high-potency toxins with a series of ADC viable, tumour specific antibodies, selected according to pre-defined criteria and specifically focused towards antigens, which are overexpressed in difficult to treat cancers.

Data generated from in vitro and in vivo studies of these conjugates will be used to prioritise the most promising candidates for pre-clinical development programmes. Glythera intends to identify its first clinical candidate for first in man studies in 2019.

Glythera has partnered with Covance, the global contract research division of LabCorp, for the Innovate UK-funded project.

Dr Dave Simpson, CEO of Glythera, said: “Glythera is poised to bring a new generation of oncology focused therapies to the clinic.

"The funding by Innovate UK will help us identify novel antibody-drug conjugates for the potential treatment of a variety of cancers that are associated with high relapse rates to current treatment. These will then be prioritised for pre-clinical development. With Innovate UK’s support, we aim to build a portfolio of much needed, safe treatments to improve the lives of patients living with these devastating cancers.”

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