AstraZeneca finds treatment for liver cancer, bouncing back from flops to beat Bayer's Nexavar

AstraZeneca bets $25M on preclinical bispecific against a hot target, docking in Chinese Harbour to land global rights

AstraZeneca finds treatment for liver cancer, bouncing back from flops to beat Bayer's Nexavar

AstraZeneca has entered the biotech crush focused on Claudin18.2 (CLDN18.2). In exchange for $25 million upfront and more behind it, Big Pharma secured worldwide rights to an inland port from BioMed (HBM) capable of competing for a market once again dominated by Amgen, Astellas, BioNTech, and others is targeted.

With research showing that the close junction molecule CLDN18.2 is expressed in 60% of gastric and other gastrointestinal cancers, biotechnology of the arsenal of monoclonal antibodies, cell therapies, bipolar candidates, and l mRNA for the lens. The clinic already has several programs, but AstraZeneca always makes a point of selecting a candidate further down the group.

AstraZeneca is paying $25 million upfront and committing up to $325 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones to acquire global rights to HBM7022, a dipole antibody designed to target CLDN18. 2 and CD3 available. When the market closes, AstraZeneca will take responsibility for further development.

By binding to CLDN18.2 and CD3, the ambiguous antibody can activate and transform T cells against the tumor. The molecule was designed by HBM to have a high affinity for CLDN18.2 and a low affinity for CD3, a determination aimed at achieving potent cytotoxicity and minimizing the risk of cytokine release syndrome.

According to HBM, the candidate has shown efficacy against Claudin18.2-positive gastric cancer in its wild and mutant forms and pancreatic cancer. The proof of effectiveness comes from preclinical studies.

While HBM7022 has yet to enter the clinic, AstraZeneca enters the CLDN18.2 race slightly behind the former. Astellas initially paid 422 million euros ($459 million) to buy its anti-CLDN182 antibody zolbetuximab from Ganymed Pharmaceuticals in 2016. views. Since the Phase 3 trials began, many other drug developers have begun experimenting with different avenues to reach the goal.

The dual-specific Amgen introduced CLDN18.2, AMG 910, to the clinic in 2020, although it ended enrollment in the study late last year, well below its enrollment goal. BioNTech has aligned its mRNA technology to the target and is coming to the clinic in 2020. CAR-T from Legend Biotech, the company behind Johnson & Johnson’s BCMA cell therapy, is hitting the target in the clinic, as are colleagues at CARsgen Therapeutics. They are among the many Chinese biotechnologists and hospitals working on studies of CLDN18.2 candidates.

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