Suzhou (China-) based CStone Pharmaceuticals and LegoChem Biosciences have signed a global licensing agreement in which CStone acquires exclusive rights for development and commercialization of LCB71, an ROR1 antibody drug conjugate (ADC) outside South Korea.

LCB71 is a potential first-in-class/best-in-class antibody drug conjugate in pre-clinical development, entering Investigational New Drug enabling studies has demonstrated preclinical efficacy and reduced toxicity.

The investigational drug targets the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1), a high-potential target for multiple solid and hematological malignancies. ROR1 protein expression is prevalent in a variety of cancers including various forms of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and breast, lung, and ovarian cancers.

LCB71 includes a proprietary pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD-) prodrug toxin that addresses the typical toxicity associated with traditional PBD payloads. The prodrug has demonstrated complete tumor inhibition across several preclinical cancer models, which may translate into a wide therapeutic index for a range of solid and hematologic malignancies.

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Additionally, LCB71 uses site-specific conjugation for a precise drug antibody ratio. This supports serum half-life and improves its pharmacokinetic profile, and also enables homogeneous production and large-scale manufacturing.

Under the agreement, LegoChem receives an upfront payment of US $ 10 million, and up to US $ 353.5 million in cumulative milestone payments, plus tiered royalties.

“We are very pleased to form this partnership with LegoChem, a leading ADC platform company, to obtain global rights to an asset with highly differentiated attributes in an exciting new field of oncology. The agreement adds the first ADC to CStone’s development pipeline, and bolsters our precision medicine franchise with a new modality. We look forward to harnessing its full potential and bringing it to patients around the world,” noted Frank Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CStone.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with CStone, which has demonstrated extensive oncology expertise, especially in global clinical development. This partnership puts LCB71 on a path to development and commercialization for patients worldwide. We are convinced that CStone is the right partner to secure the future of this important drug,” Dr. Yong-Zu Kim, Chief Executive Officer and President of LegoChem.

Featured Image: Researchers in laboratory Courtesy: © 2017 – 2020. Fotolia. Used with permission.

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