Australian clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: TLX) has signed an agreement with French company ATONCO S.A.S to investigate the use of Telix’s Molecularly Targeted Radiation (MTR) technology.
The Licence and Development Agreement will enable ATONCO to investigate the use of MTR for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer that is resistant to standard therapies.
Under the Agreement, ATONCO will receive a licence to select components of Telix’s antibody portfolio for use with the alpha-emitting radioisotope astatine-211 for the purpose of treating bladder cancer that is no longer responsive to standard therapies.
Telix CEO Dr Christian Behrenbruch said Astatine emits alpha particles with a favourable emission profile that is well suited to bladder cancer as it delivers highly localised anti-tumour radiation with minimal impact on surrounding tissues.
Under the Agreement, Telix is eligible to receive development milestone payments of approximately A$30 million in addition to royalties upon successful commercialisation. Telix retains a right to re-acquire the programme with successful clinical data.
This collaboration with ATONCO represents a new stage for Telix, being the first time that we have out-licenced our intellectual property to a third party,” Dr Behrenbruch said.
“While we maintain a disciplined focus on our prostate, kidney and brain cancer programmes, this collaboration demonstrates the attractiveness of our IP to other companies and enables our assets to be developed for new cancer indications beyond Telix’s core areas of focus, while still giving us the option to re-annex the programme if promising clinical data warrants it.”
ATONCO CEO Professor Jean-François Chatal said the collaboration with Telix Pharmaceuticals is motived by the clinical potential of alpha- immunotherapy for refractory non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
“This is truly an unmet medical that may be able to be clinically and commercially addressed by the characteristics of antibody-targeted astatine-211.”
In 2018 bladder cancer was the fifth most common cancer in the United States, with an estimated 82,501 new cases diagnosed and 17,755 deaths resulting from bladder cancer.
ATONCO is a privately held French company developing Molecularly Targeted Radiation products for oncology applications. Originating from the world-class radiochemistry cluster that includes CHU Nantes and the ARRONAX cyclotron facility, ATONCO and their academic collaborators is committed to the clinical use of alpha emitting radionuclides, particularly astatine-211.