Catalent and Exelixis to Collaborate on ADC Development

September 9, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Catalent’s Redwood Bioscience subsidiary will develop antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for Exelixis using Catalent’s proprietary SMARTag site-specific bioconjugation technology.

Catalent and Exelixis, a biotechnology company focused on oncology, announced on Sept. 8, 2020 that they have entered into a $10 million partnership where Catalent’s Redwood Bioscience subsidiary will develop antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for Exelixis using Catalent’s proprietary SMARTag site-specific bioconjugation technology.

Through the agreement, Catalent will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and Exelixis will receive the option to nominate a fixed number of targets using the SMARTag ADC platform over a three-year period, a Catalent press release said. The companies will advance the ADCs into preclinical development, letting Exelixis use its exclusive option toward a worldwide license of the ADC program and continue clinical development and commercialization. Additionally, Exelixis will support research and development funding and Catalent will be qualified for development and commercial milestones and royalties on net sales of any product commercialized.

“Our collaboration with Catalent—the fifth pipeline-enhancing agreement we have signed since 2018—provides an attractive framework for identifying and advancing differentiated ADC product candidates with the potential to improve upon current ADC therapies,” said Peter Lamb, PhD, executive vice-president, Scientific Strategy and chief scientific officer of Exelixis, in the press release. “We are looking forward to working with Catalent as we rapidly advance our mission to help cancer patients recover stronger and live longer.”

“The SMARTag platform has recently demonstrated promising results in the clinic, highlighting the potential to create ADCs with significantly expanded therapeutic indices,” added Mike Riley, region president, Catalent Biologics, North America, in the press release. “We are excited to partner with Exelixis, a leading oncology biotechnology company, and leverage our experienced team, unique SMARTag technology platform, and deep analytical expertise to develop ADCs targeting various oncology indications.”

Source: Catalent