Amgen, NantCell Partner for Cancer Drug
NantCell, LLC, a subsidiary of NantWorks, LLC, focusing on the discovery and development of immunology-based innovative treatments for diseases through cell-based treatments at the molecular level, has formed entered a licensing agreement with Amgen Inc. for AMG 479 (ganitumab), previously in Phase III development. Under the agreement, NantCell acquired the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize worldwide, excluding Japan, AMG 479, a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets Type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R), a promising target for cancer therapy. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Scientific and medical research suggest that IGF-1R plays a role in the development and progression of many cancers, possibly due to its anti-apoptotic properties, which allow cancerous cells to resist the cytotoxic properties of chemotherapeutic drugs or radiation therapy. The novel IGF-1R antibody inhibits cancer cell proliferation through disruption of the P13K/Akt and MAPK pathways. Signaling through IGF-1R plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth and survival, and has been shown to be a critical promoter of anchorage independent growth, a well-recognized mechanism for malignancy.
NantWorks, LLC was founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a physician, scientist and inventor of the human nanoparticle chemotherapeutic agent Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound). NantWorks is the umbrella organization for the following entities: NantHealth, NantMobile, NantMedia, NantOmics, NantBioScience, NantCell, NantPharma, NantCapital and NantCloud.