Aug 10, 2022
Starpharma signs new DEP® agreement with MSD
- This new DEP® program will generate and evaluate additional DEP® Antibody Drug Conjugates
Melbourne, Australia; 10 August 2022: Starpharma (ASX: SPL, OTCQX: SPHRY) today announced it has signed a new DEP® Research Agreement with MSD, the trade name of Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA. This new agreement follows an earlier DEP® Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) agreement signed with MSD in February 2021. Under the new agreement, Starpharma will design and synthesize a number of DEP® dendrimer conjugates and will provide them to MSD for testing and characterisation.
Dr Jackie Fairley, CEO of Starpharma commented:
“We are very pleased to add this new DEP® ADC program with MSD and to continue building on our partnership with them in such an innovative and valuable area.
“This new DEP® program underlines the potential clinical and commercial value our DEP® technology can deliver.”
ADCs are designed to incorporate the specific cell targeting property of antibodies with the cell killing properties of chemically conjugated drugs, to provide a targeted therapeutic with minimal off target toxicities. Starpharma has previously demonstrated the advantages of DEP® in ADCs in multiple programs.
This Research Agreement covers a research project. Research fees are payable to Starpharma for the work completed under this agreement and Starpharma is not required to fund the program. The initial term for this agreement is 12 months and the terms for this new agreement are the same as for the Research Agreement signed in February 2021. Each party maintains ownership of their own background intellectual property. The research fees under this agreement are not expected to be material. The agreement is subject to industry standard performance and termination provisions.
Starpharma has multiple DEP® partnerships with leading, international companies, including AstraZeneca, MSD, and Chase Sun, and the company’s DEP® technology has already yielded four clinical-stage oncology products.
About ADCs & DEP® ADCs
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have become an increasingly valuable class of therapeutic agents in oncology and hematology. The design of ADCs incorporates the specific cell targeting property of antibodies with the cell killing properties of chemically conjugated drugs, to provide a targeted therapeutic with minimal off target toxicities. DEP® ADCs have the potential to overcome the limitation of relatively low drug loading that is a feature of first-generation ADCs. The DEP® technology allows precise attachment of drug loaded dendrimer(s) to targeting molecules with a high load of covalently link drug (4, 8,16, 32 drug molecules per dendrimer) providing a selective, homogeneous ADC with a significantly higher drug-antibody ratio (DAR) as compared to currently available ADCs. Starpharma has previously demonstrated the advantages of DEP® in ADCs in multiple preclinical studies, including for DEP® HER-2 ADC, which showed significant tumour regression and 100% survival, outperforming Herceptin & Kadcyla in a human ovarian cancer model. DEP® ADCs are the subject of both internal and partnered DEP® programs.
Download full announcement here: Starpharma signs new DEP® agreement with MSD (PDF 185KB)