Elasmogen Ltd, the University biologics drug discovery company and Almac Discovery, a pharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to co-develop Elasmogen technology for the treatment of solid tumours.
Under the terms of the agreement Elasmogen and Almac will jointly manage the research and development activities aimed at developing a drug candidate to an undisclosed target. Both parties will share costs, with Almac being responsible for commercialisation.
Dr Caroline Barelle CEO and Scientific Officer of Elasmogen, said: "We are very excited about combining the expertise of our two research teams to deliver an effective therapy for patients." Dr Barelle will announce the new collaboration at BioTrinity 2015 in London tonight, 11 May 2015, which is a high profile gathering of Europe’s biotechnology, pharmaceutical and investor community.
Dr Stephen Barr, President Almac Discovery, added: "We are always looking for novel science to drive the next steps in drug development and we feel that the soloMERTM concept could be the next scientific step forward in drug conjugate approaches."
soloMERsTM are humanised versions of antibody-like proteins that were first discovered in sharks. They are chemically robust molecules that tolerate drug conjugation well. It is believed that soloMERsTM bind specifically to the cancer tissue and will penetrate inside the tumour before releasing their war-head of anti-cancer drugs, maximising the damage to the tumour and minimising the toxic effects to healthy tissues.
In February the Elasmogen team, which is part of the Scottish Biologics Drug Discovery Facility at the University of Aberdeen, further strengthened its global intellectual property (IP) position with the granting of a patent in the US, underpinning the generation of its VNAR protein drugs developed from sharks.
Dr Barelle currently leads the team of senior research scientists developing novel biologic therapeutics based on soloMERsTM. Her previous roles include Head of Single-Domain antibody Development at Pfizer and Wyeth where she led the teams isolating and progressing leads through to late pre-clinical assessment. Prior to this she was Programmes Manager at the antibody engineering company, Haptogen Ltd, acquired by Wyeth in 2007.
Almac Discovery is a research-driven oncology company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel and innovative approaches to the treatment of cancer. Almac Discovery focuses on the discovery to preclinical stage, seeking to partner programmes at an early time point with the pharmaceutical industry. Exceptionally the company will undertake clinical development to an early stage before partnering. Almac Discovery is an independent member of the Almac Group.