Merck KGaA, Sutro Biopharma Partner in ADCsBy
Sutro Biopharma, a San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company developing antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and bispecific antibodies, and the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, which operates as EMD Serono in the United States and Canada, have formed a collaboration and license agreement to develop ADCS. ADCs are composed of an antibody linked to a cytotoxic drug.
Under the agreement, Sutro and Merck KGaA will collaborate to discover and develop multiple ADCs using Sutro's cell-free protein synthesis platforms, Xpress CF and Xpress CF+. Sutro will be responsible for delivering ADCs for Phase I clinical trials. Merck KGaA will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of any resulting products. Merck KGaA will make an upfront payment to Sutro and will fund certain R&D activities. Sutro is also eligible to receive payments on completion of certain research, development, and regulatory milestones potentially totaling approximately EUR 230 million ($295 million) as well as royalties on product sales.
Sutro's discovery and development efforts are based on its Xpress CFplatform, a biochemical synthesis system that enables evaluation of protein structure-activity relationships for protein variants, including those incorporating non-natural amino acids, and offers an alternative to cell-based expression technologies. Sutro has an cGMP facility for the production of clinical supplies of materials using its biochemical protein synthesis platform.
In 2012, Sutro formed a pact with Celgene to design and develop novel ADCS and bispecific antibodies for two undisclosed targets and to manufacture a proprietary Celgene antibody.
Source: Sutro Biopharma