The biopharmaceutical company CytomX has formed a global strategic collaboration with Pfizer to develop and commercialize multiple Probody Drug Conjugates (PDCs), propertiary antibodies by CytomX.
CytomX’s Probodies are fully recombinant masked antibodies that remain inert in healthy tissue, but are activated specifically in the disease microenvironment. They involve the use of dysregulated protease activity, found in many diseased states, to locally activate in the disease tissue to achieve tissue-specific targeting.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer has exclusive rights to pursue development and commercialization of select PDCs. The companies will work together on preclinical research, and Pfizer will be responsible for development and potential commercialization of any selected PDCs. CytomX will be eligible to receive upfront, research reimbursement, and preclinical milestone payments totaling approximately $25 million and approximately $610 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments as well as tiered royalties reaching double digits on potential future sales.
CytomX is targeting programs in oncology and inflammation. CytomX’s program targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is currently in preclinical development. EGFR remains an important target in a number of solid tumor indications. The company is also working on a Probody program targeting Jagged, a ligand in the Notch pathway, a developmental signaling pathway, which can be reactivated and is thought to be involved in the carcinogenesis of a number of cancers, including triple negative breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and multiple myeloma.