NERVIANO and MILAN, Italy, December 14, 2023 – Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. (NMS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company member of NMS group, announced the signing of a license agreement with Italfarmaco S.p.A. (ITF), a specialty pharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize a novel peptide-drug conjugate (PDC).
Under the terms of the agreement, ITF will use NMS’s proprietary linker-payload technology to develop a novel PDC product candidate. NMS has implemented linker-payload GMP manufacturing and supply at a CDMO referred by NMS. ITF will be responsible for generating the target peptide and all non-clinical, clinical, and commercialization activities related to any resulting proprietary product candidates. Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
“NMS’s cutting-edge linker-payload technology will allow us to develop new peptide drug conjugates for the treatment of oncology indications with high unmet medical need, leveraging Italfarmaco’s state-of-the-art GMP peptide production capabilities,” stated Christian Steinkühler, PhD, Italfarmaco Group’s Chief Scientific Officer. “This is an important milestone in our mission to generate a highly diversified pipeline of innovative medicines.”
“We are pleased that ITF, a company with a long-standing heritage both from pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, has selected our linker-payload first platform for developing a truly novel peptide-drug conjugate. This is a significant step to broaden the applicability of our technology,” said Hugues Dolgos, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of NMS and NMS Group.
NMS is focused on discovery and development of innovative cancer therapies based on proprietary kinase and linker-payload platforms, with approved targeted drugs licensed to pharma companies and proprietary innovative small molecule candidate drugs undergoing clinical studies. The development program will leverage NMS’s proprietary innovative linker-payload platform technology and ITF’s peptide-based oncology therapeutics technology. It will also allow NMS technology exploitation in conjugation with peptides. NMS’s linker-payload platform is carefully designed to generate more stable, efficacious, and safer drug conjugates to treat heterogeneous and chemotherapy-resistant solid tumors. The licensed linker payload includes optimized features, showing sub-nanomolar antiproliferative activity across a large panel of tumor cell lines and greater potency than MMAE and DXd (deruxtecan) in chemo-resistant cell lines expressing MDR system (Valsasina B. et al., Mol Cancer Ther 2023). In conjugation with targeting moieties, it shows an excellent therapeutic window and it is highly active in heterogeneous tumors thanks to the bystander effect, promotes immune system recognition of tumor cells to induce immunogenic cell death, and demonstrates activity in chemotherapy-resistant and poorly proliferating tumors.
Link Press Release: 20231204_ITF_Nerviano collaboration Final