South Korean’s Chong Kun Dang Pharm (CKD) has entered a licensing agreement with Netherlands-based Synaffix for the development of novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) with best-in-class therapeutic index.

The agreement between the two companies provides CKD a license for global, target-specific rights to Synaffix’s proprietary ADC technology, adding a new ADC drug candidate with an undisclosed target to CKD’s pipeline.

Under the terms of the agreement, CKD will have access to Synaffix’s ADC technologies, comprising GlycoConnect™, HydraSpace™ and an undisclosed linker-payload from the toxSYN™ platform. In turn, Synaffix has received an upfront payment and is eligible to receive further milestone payments plus royalties on commercial sales. CKD will be responsible for the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the ADCs. Synaffix will be responsible for the manufacturing of components that are specifically related to its proprietary technologies.

Simple and powerful
Synaffix flagship platform technology GlycoConnect™ replaces the existing antibody glycan with a therapeutic payload. Using this approach, scientists have established a simple, yet powerful, clinical-stage platform technology enabling best-in-class ADCs, bispecific antibodies and the targeted delivery of various other therapeutic payloads without modifying the antibody sequence.

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By modifying the native antibody glycan using Synaffix highly efficient enzymes and metal-free click chemistry approach, the technology makes it possible to convert any antibody into a stably conjugated ADC in just a few days. [1][2]

Promising data
“Scientific rigor and a growing body of promising underlying data have led us to this exciting moment where we can bring a new ADC into the development pipeline of CKD Pharm,” said Peter van de Sande, Chief Executive Officer of Synaffix.

“We value the strong experience of the CKD team within the oncology space and look forward to building on this further as we continue our close and long-standing collaboration aimed at bringing this promising new drug candidate to patients in need,” Vad de Sade added.

CKD’s Development Pipline
“By combining our existing oncology expertise and related technologies with the ADC platform of Synaffix, we have been able to efficiently establish a novel ADC candidate for CKD’s pipeline,” noted Young-Joo, Kim, Chief Executive Officer of CKD Pharm.

“Our work is deeply rooted in oncology, and we are committed to improving the quality of life for patients by developing highly targeted novel drugs for the treatment of cancer,” Young-Joo, Kim concluded.

The company’s current pipeline includes CKD-516, an investigational tublin polymerization inhibitor for the treatment of colorectal cancer (Phase 1) and KD-581, an novel Pan-HDAC inhibitor for the treatment of multiple myeloma (Phase 1).  The company is also developing a bispecific antibody for the treatment of solid tumors (CDK-702). This investigational agent is also in phase 1 clinical trials.

License Agreements
The agreement with South Korean’s Chong Kun Dang Pharm, the first partnership for Synaffix with a South Korean company, followed agreements Synaffix signed with drug development companies. These earlier agreements included a US $ 150 million license agreements with Hummingbird Bioscience and a US $ 2 billion agreement with Amgen.

[1] Dommerholt J, Schmidt S, Temming R, Hendriks LJ, Rutjes FP, van Hest JC, Lefeber DJ, Friedl P, van Delft FL. Readily accessible bicyclononynes for bioorthogonal labeling and three-dimensional imaging of living cells. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2010 Dec 3;49(49):9422-5. doi: 10.1002/anie.201003761. PMID: 20857472; PMCID: PMC3021724.
[2] Van Berkel SS, van Delft FL. Enzymatic strategies for (near) clinical development of antibody-drug conjugates. Drug Discov Today Technol. 2018 Dec;30:3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ddtec.2018.09.005. Epub 2018 Oct 11. PMID: 30553518.

Featured Image: Scientist examining samples Courtesy: © 2018 – 2023 Fotolia/Adobe. Used with permission.

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