Catalent Pharma Solutions announced in a statement that it has acquired an exclusive license to market Redwood Bioscience’s proprietary SMARTag precision protein-chemical engineering technology for the development of advanced antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).
Redwood’s novel, site-specific protein modification and linker technologies enable the generation of homogenous bioconjugates engineered to enhance potency, safety, and stability. Catalent offers a proprietary GPEx cell line expression system, a biomanufacturing Center of Excellence in Madison, Wis., and range of bioanalytical and fill-finish services.
ADCs combine the targeted binding specificity and half-life benefits of monoclonal antibodies with the potency advantages of small molecule chemotherapy or therapeutic agents. With the FDA’s recent approval of Genentech’s T-DM1 (Kadcycla™) for metastatic breast cancer, and a large and growing list of products in clinical and pre-clinical development, ADCs are emerging as one of the fastest growing development areas in biologic anti-cancer treatment, according to the statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Catalent will have the exclusive right to sub-license the SMARTag technology to customers and will work with Redwood to co-market the technology and support sub-license programs. Catalent will also take a minority equity stake in Redwood, which may increase over time up to a potential acquisition.