WuXi XDC, a Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CRDMO) focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and other types of bioconjugates, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a comprehensive partnership with Korean biotech IntoCell.

Under the agreement, IntoCell will provide it’s proprietary drug-linker technologies using their novel, self-immolative group (SIG), Ortho-Hydroxy Protected Aryl Sulfate (OHPAS™) Linker, which is designed to stably connect and release various payloads, including phenols, and Nexatecans™, a new class of OHPAS-able Camptothecins* that have a phenol function.

In addition to the self-immolative group (SIG)/OHPAS™ for phenolic payloads, researchers at IntroCell also developed the technology for nonphenolic payloads by simply introducing a para-hydroxy benzyl (PHB) spacer. As an additional variation they created a benzylsulfonate version of the OHPAS system and noted that this has two distinct breakdown pathways, cyclization and 1,4-elimination, the latter of which implies that para-hydroxy-protected (PHP) benzylsulfonate (BS) can also be used as an alternative SIG.[1]

WuXi XDC will provide fully integrated, one-stop bioconjugate platform and end-to-end CRDMO services. This synergy will empower clients of both parties to accelerate PCC (Pre-clinical candidates) selection further, develop more next-generation ADCs and other bioconjugates, and expedite the CMC development process.

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“IntoCell’s unique drug-linker technologies and our leading, open-access platform are a great combination to enable the fast delivery of pre-clinical candidates, especially in novel ADC programs,” noted Jimmy Li, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer of WuXi XDC.

“We are delighted to reach this comprehensive partnership with IntoCell and to forge the capability synergy. It demonstrates WuXi XDC’s platform development strategy, namely to grow continually and evolve to help our clients to accelerate and transform the discovery, development and manufacturing of ADCs and other bioconjugates.” Li added.

“Given WuXi XDC’s ample experience and superb capabilities in the CRDMO business, along with IntoCell’s proprietary drug-linker technology, the collaborative efforts of the two companies will pave an easier path for potential ADC development companies to access a variety of drug-linker sets in a stable yet fast-cleavable format. We are eager to witness positive progress towards that goal,” concluded ae Kyo Park, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IntoCell.

In 2023, IntoCell licensed its technology to ADC Therapeutics and announced a research collaboration with Samsung Bioepis.

Note: * Camptothecin is a cell-permeable DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor with IC50 value of 679 nM [2].

[1] Park S, Kim SY, Cho J, Jung D, Ha J, Seo D, Lee J, Lee S, Yun S, Lee H, Park O, Seo B, Kim S, Seol M, Song J, Park TK. Sulfonate Version of OHPAS Linker Has Two Distinct Pathways of Breakdown: Elimination Route Allows Para-Hydroxy-Protected Benzylsulfonate (PHP-BS) to Serve as an Alternative Self-Immolative Group. Bioconjug Chem. 2020 May 20;31(5):1392-1399. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.0c00116. Epub 2020 Apr 2. PMID: 32208715.
[2] Luzzio MJ, Besterman JM, Emerson DL, Evans MG, Lackey K, Leitner PL, McIntyre G, Morton B, Myers PL, Peel M, et al. Synthesis and antitumor activity of novel water soluble derivatives of camptothecin as specific inhibitors of topoisomerase I. J Med Chem. 1995 Feb 3;38(3):395-401. doi: 10.1021/jm00003a001. PMID: 7853331.

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