Byondis and Glycotope Partner on Discovery and Development of Glyco-Epitope-Targeting Antibodies

In the Lab eNewsletter, Pharmaceutical Technology's In the Lab eNewsletter, August 2021, Volume 16, Issue 08

Byondis and Glycotope have formed an agreement to discover and develop antibodies that target specific glyco-epitopes.

On July 27, 2021, Byondis, a Netherlands-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Glycotope, a Germany-based biotechnology company specializing in antibodies that target tumor-specific-carrying carbohydrate structures, have entered into a platform access agreement to discover and develop antibodies that target specific tumor-associated protein/carbohydrate combined glyco-epitopes (GlycoTargets).

Under the agreement, Byondis has gained exclusive rights to evaluate and develop antibodies against selected novel GlycoTargets and has the option to in-license these antibodies for development as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Glycosylation is strongly altered in cancer cells, which reflects the drastic changes in tumor metabolism. This alteration, in turn, results in new, highly tumor-specific GlycoTargets. Specific antibodies against these GlycoTargets might be highly cancer specific and have the potential to target a broad range of oncology indications, the companies stated in a press release.

Formulating the antibodies into ADCs can improve their cell-killing capability. But while earlier generation ADCs improved targeting and cell-killing, they were unstable in the bloodstream, which led to premature release of the cytotoxic payload that impacted healthy tissue and narrowed the therapeutic window. Byondis’s next generation ADCs are designed to be highly stable in circulation and carry an intricate, inactivated, and potent cytotoxic drug that rapidly self-destructs if prematurely released, thus limiting damage to healthy tissue and improving the therapeutic window, according to a Byondis press release.

“Selective tumor targeting is key to maximiz[ing] the potential of our linker-drug platforms to generate effective ADCs with low systemic toxicity. The antibodies generated by Glycotope are designed to deliver very high tumor selectivity. We are excited to join forces and align our highly complementary technologies to provide effective and safe ADCs for the benefit of cancer patients,” said Byondis Chief Scientific Officer Wim Dokter in the press release.

“This agreement with Byondis highlights the potential of our GlycoTarget discovery and technology platform,” said Henner Kollenberg, managing director of Glycotope, in the press release. “GlycoTargets are a unique class of highly tumor-specific antigens that offer reduced on-target/off-tumor toxicities. We believe that combining antibodies against these GlycoTargets with Byondis’ linker-drug platform has great potential to produce novel treatments for people suffering from diseases for which no adequate medical treatment option has been found so far.”

Source: Byondis