Avacta announces license agreement with Point Biopharma

Point is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing radioligands as precision medicines for the treatment of cancer

Avacta Group has entered into a license agreement with Point Biopharma, to provide access to its pre|CISION technology for the development of tumour-activated radiopharmaceuticals.

The pre|CISION chemistry can be used to modify a radioligand drug to form a tumour-activated prodrug. The prodrug form is inactive in circulation until it enters the tumour micro-environment where it is activated by an enzyme called fibroblast activation protein (or FAP) that is present in high abundance in most solid tumours but not in healthy tissue. Avacta’s technology is hoped to improve tolerability and achieve better clinical outcomes for patients by targeting the radioligand treatment more specifically to cancer cells.

The agreement provides Point with an exclusive license to the technology for use in the first radiopharmaceutical prodrug the company intends to develop, and a non-exclusive license to the pre|CISION platform for the development of a broader pipeline of FAP-activated radiopharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Avacta will receive an upfront fee and development milestones for the first radiopharmaceutical prodrug totalling $9.5m. Avacta will also receive milestone payments for subsequent radiopharmaceutical prodrugs of up to $8m each, a royalty on sales of FAP-activated radiopharmaceuticals by Point and a percentage of any sublicensing income.

Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta Group, commented: “I am very pleased to have established this partnership with Point that allows Avacta to exploit its pre|CISION platform in a therapeutic area outside of our in-house focus on chemotherapy prodrugs.

“The clinical and commercial rationale for our pre|CISION prodrug platform is to improve the safety and efficacy of many existing drugs, as well as generating a pipeline of new and novel cancer therapies. In oncology, we believe that this approach will result in better response rates for monotherapies, and a greater safety margin, to enable their use with a larger patient population and as part of combination therapies.”

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