Champions Biotechnology Signs Exclusive Agreement with TAU for New Cancer Drug Wednesday, December 2, 2009
U.S. Oncology drug company obtains worldwide rights for an antibody fragment that may have an advantage in treating cancer patients
Prof. Beka Solomon
Champions Biotechnology, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CSBR), a U.S. Oncology drug development company with a predictive preclinical platform aimed at accelerating the development and enhancing the value of oncology drugs, has established an exclusive licensing agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., Tel Aviv University's wholly owned technology transfer company.
The licensing agreement encompasses the development and commercialization of TAR-1, a single-chain antibody fragment in preclinical development that may have an advantage in treating cancer patients because of its high specificity and affinity to binding mutant p53 protein.
Under the terms of the agreement, Champions has obtained the worldwide rights to TAR-1 and is responsible for the further development of the compound. Champions will utilize its Biomerk Tumorgraft(TM) platform technology to evaluate the activity of TAR-1 and determine the best path forward for the compound in regards to indication, patient population and potential drug combinations. Ramot will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties if Champions chooses to continue the license terms, which will be determined based on results from testing TAR-1 in the predictive Tumorgraft platform.
Inhibits tumor growth
Prof. Beka Solomon from Tel Aviv University identified that TAR-1 binds to and restores the wild-type active conformation of mutant p53 protein with a high degree of specificity, leading to in vivo inhibition of tumor growth. Given the frequency of mutant p53 in cancer, TAR-1 has the potential to target a wide range of human cancers.
"Licensing TAR-1 demonstrates the progression of our strategy to build our own Tumorgraft-driven pipeline of oncology drugs, which we expect to yield improved clinical development success rates," said Guy Malchi, Champions Biotechnology's Head of Corporate Development and International Operations.
"We were impressed by the potential of TAR-1 and we are planning to continue to in-license oncology drug candidates with compelling science and to develop only those with positive Tumorgraft results." TAR-1 will undergo Tumorgraft testing as Champions completes Tumorgraft testing of its other oncology drug, SG410, a tubulin inhibitor.
"We are excited to work with Champions Biotechnology. Their predictive platform and experienced scientific and clinical team make them an ideal candidate to move TAR-1 forward into the clinic and on the path to commercialization," said Dr. Ze'ev Weinfeld, CEO, Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd.
Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd. is the technology transfer company of Tel Aviv University (TAU). Ramot fosters, initiates, leads and manages the transfer of new technologies from university laboratories to the marketplace by performing all activities relating to the protection and commercialization of inventions and discoveries made by faculty, students and other researchers. Ramot provides a dynamic interface connecting industry to leading edge science and innovation, offering new business opportunities in a wide variety of emerging markets. Founded in 1956, TAU is one of Israel's foremost research and teaching universities. Located in Israel's cultural, financial and industrial heartland, TAU is at the forefront of basic and applied research in a wide variety of scientific research disciplines.