Iksuda and Femtogenix ink solid tumour agreement

Iksuda has stated it will use Femtogenix payload molecules to progress its lead antibody drug conjugate

Iksuda Therapeutics has signed a licensing agreement with Femtogenix (FGX). The agreement between the two UK-based Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) companies aims to target difficult-to-treat solid tumours.

As part of this agreement, Iksuda will use FGX’s sequence-selective DNA-interactive payload molecules to progress its lead ADC towards the clinic.

By harnessing FGX’s highly potent and broad-acting DNA mono-alkylating payloads in combination with its own PermaLink conjugation platform, Iksuda aims to significantly improve its ADC therapeutic index. Solid tumour types can be resistant to treatment, so the larger the index, the better.

Dr Chris Keightley, CEO of Femtogenix, said: “In particular, we are developing payloads that can recognise and bind to transcription factor recognition site profiles within the genome. Such profiles are characteristic of specific tumour types, and this allows FGX to develop payloads with reduced toxicity and enhanced target specificity.”

The agreement marks another key step in the build-out of Iksuda’s ADC technology-suite and drug pipeline, from which it aims to progress multiple candidates towards first clinical studies in 2020.

Dr Dave Simpson, Iksuda CEO, said: “This agreement is an exciting progression of our ADC pipeline as it maximises potential for the greatest anti-cancer impact and enhanced therapeutic index, further underpinning our ambition to advance multiple ADCs to the clinic and treat the broadest patient population possible.”

ADCs are capable of delivering highly cytotoxic payloads directly to tumour cells. They are composed of a payload, linker and an antibody. The payload is either a small molecule, protein, protein toxin, enzyme or a radionuclide carrying the cytotoxic potency.

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