NEW YORK – MD Anderson Cancer Center and Radiopharm Theranostics on Tuesday announced the launch of a joint venture focused on developing radiopharmaceuticals, dubbed Radiopharm Ventures.
The new joint venture will advance four therapeutic products using MD Anderson-developed technologies. The first candidate that Radiopharm Ventures will focus on is a humanized immunoglobulin antibody targeting B7-H3, also called CD276, an antigen that is highly expressed in cancer tumors but rarely in human cells. The therapy, according to MD Anderson and Radiopharm, has effectively eliminated colorectal cancer cells in preclinical studies.
The joint venture is also using MD Anderson's catalog of cancer cell surface proteins — dubbed the surfaceome — to identify new cancer-exclusive targets for future radiopharmaceuticals. Under the terms of the collaboration, Radiopharm Ventures can select targets from this dataset based on areas of unmet need.
"The cancer surfaceome holds a wealth of information about antigens restricted to cancer," Samir Hanash, a professor of clinical cancer prevention at MD Anderson who helped develop the dataset, said in a statement. "Mining the data, generated at the petabyte level, has uncovered many compelling targets that have not previously been explored, and we are pleased for the opportunity to collaborate with Radiopharm in developing innovative new treatment options for some targets."
Once Radiopharm Ventures selects these targets, the firm will work with Hanash as well as David Piwnica-Worms, the chair of cancer systems imaging at MD Anderson, to advance the therapeutic candidates through preclinical development.
Radiopharm Theranostics owns 51 percent of the new joint venture and MD Anderson owns 49 percent. The joint venture has rights to commercialize and develop the technologies that emerge from preclinical efforts. The agreement also includes royalty and milestone payment obligations, though the parties didn't detail the financial terms of their deal. The two parties will share in the costs and ownership of intellectual property.