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Iksuda Therapeutics Enters License Agreement With University of Goettingen to Develop a New Generation of Antibody Drug Conjugates

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  • Iksuda licenses novel protein-alkylating, tumour-activated pro-drug payload series to develop ADCs with enhanced therapeutic index

  • Development to focus on targets associated with haematological and solid tumours

Iksuda Therapeutics (Iksuda), the developer of enhanced, new-generation of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), today announces it has executed its option to secure exclusive, worldwide rights to develop a novel class of tumour-activated prodrug payloads from the University of Goettingen, following a successful collaboration exemplifying the series in ADC formats. The highly potent and selective payload series represents a powerful new class within ADC development with novel protein alkylating cytotoxicity. Iksuda will drive onward development and commercialisation, incorporating the tuneable payload series in its ADC pipeline and payload armoury, to create best in class ADC therapeutics for nominated targets associated with haematological and solid tumours with high unmet need.

The partnership with the University of Goettingen was founded on Iksuda’s commitment to expand its payload armoury and optimise ADC design according to target antigen. The programme confirmed the value of tumour-selective activation of these powerful cytotoxic agents, conjugated with Iksuda’s stable conjugation technology (PermaLink®), in widening the therapeutic index of ADCs. The novel protein-alkylating mode-of-action of the payload series differs from the field’s primary focus of intra- or DNA inter-strand cross-linking, conferring benefits against drug resistance mechanisms. Through the combination of PermaLink technology and the protein alkylating prodrugs, the Company aims to enable the differentiated development of more powerful ADCs with improved tumour killing, aligned with improved safety index and an ability to overcome potential tumour resistance.

Iksuda has demonstrated the potential value of prodrug approaches for targeted cancer therapeutics through its recent license of a CD19-targeting ADC from LegoChem Biosciences (“LCB”) for hard-to-treat B-cell cancers, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma. The ADC contains LCB’s prodrug DNA-cross-linking payload, with preclinical