Algeta Signs Exclusive Worldwide License with Affibody for Two Proprietary Molecules for use in New Tumor-targeted Alpha-pharmaceuticals based on Thorium
Oslo, Norway, 5 May 2011 - Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA), a company focused on the
development of novel targeted cancer therapeutics, announces that it has entered
into an exclusive research, development and commercialization agreement with
Affibody (Stockholm, Sweden) to develop tumor-targeting alpha-pharmaceuticals
based on thorium-227
Under the terms of the agreement, Algeta gains access to two proprietary
Affibody(Â®) molecules for use in cancer therapy. These molecules are able to
bind to two validated tumor targets: HER-2, which is present on aggressive
breast tumors, and PDGFR-beta, which plays a significant role in angiogenesis
associated with solid tumor growth and development. Affibody(Â®) molecules are a
novel class of small targeting molecules with antibody-like properties that have
the potential to be excellent carriers of therapeutic payloads and may in
addition have efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetic benefits.
Algeta and Affibody will collaborate on a defined technical program to determine
whether the two Affibody(Â®) molecules covered by this agreement can be effective
carrier targeting molecules for Algeta's thorium-227 payload.
Algeta will pay a signing fee to Affibody and make further payments based upon
the achievement of certain milestones and commercial success. Algeta has an
exclusive worldwide license for both HER-2 and PDGFR-beta in its chosen field.
Â If the initial research collaboration is successful, Algeta will be responsible
for all preclinical and clinical development of any development candidates that
result from this collaboration, and commercialization.
As part of the collaboration, Algeta also gains access to Affibody's proprietary
Albumod(TM) platform applied to the two Affibody(Â®) targeting molecules. This is
designed to enhance their efficacy by extending their circulatory half-life.
Thomas Ramdahl, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, said:
"Affibody has unique antigen-binding molecules that could be well suited to
creating tumor targeted alpha-pharmaceuticals with thorium-227. We have already
obtained interesting results using conventional antibodies and are now looking
to broaden the potential utility of our thorium platform by combining our
thorium-227 technology with Affibody's carrier molecules."
About the Thorium platform
Thorium-227 is an element (radionuclide) that emits high-energy alpha particles.
Such elements are of considerable interest in the treatment of cancer as they
are potent at killing tumor cells and have a highly localized effect as a result
of the very short range of the alpha particle (2-10 cell diameters).
Current top-selling cancer drugs are based on 'naked' monoclonal antibodies, but
it is clear that next-generation products will require cancer-killing payloads
to maximize the effectiveness of therapy.Â Thorium-227 is linked to tumor-
targeting molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, to reach its target. By
conjugating thorium-227 to a number of such molecules, each with a different
tumor target, Algeta is exploring the potential to create a pipeline of new-
generation alpha-pharmaceuticals that specifically seek and destroy cancers
while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
Importantly, the direct tumor cell killing action of alpha-pharmaceuticals
potentially overcomes drug-resistance mechanisms. In addition, they cause a
localized 'bystander effect', whereby tumor cells adjacent to those bound by the
alpha-pharmaceutical may also be destroyed even if they do not bind the drug
themselves. The short range of the alpha particle means that damage to healthy
cells and side effects may be minimized.
For further information, please contact
Andrew Kay, CEO +47 2300 7990 / +47Â 4840 1360 (mob)
Ã˜ystein Soug, CFO +47 2300 7990 / +47Â 9065 6525 (mob)
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David Bejker, CEO +46 (70) 645 49 48
Algeta is a company focused on developing novel targeted therapies for patients
with cancer based on its alpha-pharmaceutical platform.
Algeta's lead product Alpharadin (based on radium-223) is a first-in-class,
highly targeted alpha-pharmaceutical under clinical evaluation to improve
survival in patients with bone metastasesÂ from advanced cancer. Its localized
action helps preserve the surrounding healthy tissue thereby limiting side-
The development of bone metastases represents a serious development for cancer
patients as they are associated with a dramatic decline in patient health and
quality of life, ultimately leading to death. Bone metastases represent a major
unmet medical need, occurring in up to 90% of certain late-stage cancers, e.g.
prostate, breast and lung.
Alpharadin is being developed under a development and commercialization
agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma AG, a major pharmaceutical company, and is
in a global phase III clinical trial (ALSYMPCA) to treat bone metastases
resulting from castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Alpharadin is also
under investigation in phase IIa clinical trials as a potential new treatment
for bone metastases in endocrine-refractory breast cancer patients, and in a
phase I/IIa trial in combination with docetaxel chemotherapy in for bone
metastases CRPC patients.
Algeta also aims to develop a future pipeline of tumor-targeting alpha-
pharmaceutical candidates based on the alpha particle emitter thorium-227,
through selective in-licensing and/or acquiring innovative technologies and
The Company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and was founded in 1997. Algeta
listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in March 2007 (Ticker: ALGETA).
Alpharadin and Algeta are trademarks of Algeta ASA.
Affibody is a Swedish biotech company focused on developing next generation
biopharmaceuticals based on its unique proprietary technology platforms:
AffibodyÂ® molecules and Albumod(TM).
Affibody is developing a portfolio of innovative drug projects and, in addition,
offers the half-life extension technology, Albumod(TM), for outlicensing.
Affibody has ongoing commercial relationships with several companies including
Amylin, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, GE, and Thermo Fisher.
Affibody was founded in 1998 by researchers from the Royal Institute of
Technology and the Karolinska Institute and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Major
shareholders in the Company include HealthCap and Investor Growth Capital.
Further information can be found at: www.affibody.com
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forecasts based on
uncertainty, since they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will
occur in the future and which, by their nature, will have an impact on results
of operations and the financial condition of Algeta. There are a number of
factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially
from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These
factors include, among other things, risks associated with technological
development, the risk that research & development will not yield new products
that achieve commercial success, the impact of competition, the ability to close
viable and profitable business deals, the risk of non-approval of patents not
yet granted and difficulties of obtaining relevant governmental approvals for
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section
5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.
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Source: Algeta ASA via Thomson Reuters ONE