Pfizer and CytomX collaborate in $610M Probody deal

cytomx pfizer adc pdc (Doc. RNDr. Josef Reischig, CSc.)

Pfizer and CytomX have announced that they have entered into a collaboration to develop and commercialize multiple ‘Probody-Drug Conjugates' (PDCs) for use in oncology.  The antibody-masking technology blocks the Probodies' binding ability in healthy tissue, and relies upon disease-associated dysregulated protease activity to ‘unmask' the binding sites only in diseased tissue. The fully recombinant masked antibodies therefore remain inert in healthy tissue but are activated specifically in the microenvironment of the disease. The approach can be applied to traditional mAbs, bispecifics, multispecifics and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). The companies say that CytomX's Probody Platform brings to the collaboration a highly differentiated approach to developing safer and more effective ADCs (press release), where disease-targeting antibodies are linked to cytotoxic drugs.

As part of the deal, CytomX will reportedly receive approximately $25 million in upfront, research reimbursement and preclinical milestone payments, and approximately $610 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on sales. Pfizer will have exclusive rights to pursue development and commercialization of select PDCs.

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"Combining our novel Probody Platform with Pfizer's broad capabilities in ADCs marks an important milestone for CytomX and underscores the potential of our Probody Platform to enable new generations of empowered antibodies," said Sean McCarthy, D.Phil., chief executive officer of CytomX.

"Pfizer's investment in CytomX's emerging Probody Platform is an important component of our overall strategic focus to advancing the next generation of ADCs and reflects the disruptive potential of this approach," said Robert T. Abraham, senior vice president and chief scientific officer, Pfizer's Oncology Research Unit. 

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If you want to know more about mAbs, ADCs and next generation technology, you might be interested in attending the 9th Annual European Antibody Congress 2013, 11-13 November 2013, Geneva.

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