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Algeta initiates new oncology research program to evaluate the potential of a Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC) based on Immunomedics' anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody


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© Marketwire 2013
2013-01-28 07:22:43 -

OSLO, NORWAY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/28/13 --



CD22 is a well-validated target for hematological cancers



Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA) has initiated a new
research program to evaluate a novel Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC)
that
combines Algeta's proprietary thorium-227 alpha-pharmaceutical payload
with an
anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody (epratuzumab) developed by Immunomedics,
Inc.
(NASDAQ: IMMU).



Epratuzumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds to the
CD22
glycoprotein on the surface of B cells. Epratuzumab has been evaluated
for the
treatment of a variety of hematological cancers and for autoimmune diseases
such
as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).



Under the terms of this agreement, Immunomedics
will provide clinical-grade antibody to Algeta, which has rights to
evaluate the potential of a TTC, linking
thorium-227 to epratuzumab, for the treatment of cancer. Algeta will
fund all
preclinical and clinical development costs up to the end of phase I
testing.
Upon successful completion of phase I testing, the parties shall negotiate
terms
for a license at Algeta's request according to certain parameters now
agreed
between the companies. Payments in the first year from Algeta to
Immunomedics
include a signature fee, an antibody delivery milestone and payments for
cGMP
antibody manufacture. No further details of the agreement are disclosed.





Thomas Ramdahl, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of
Algeta,
said: "The broad utility of our proprietary thorium-227 payload and
its
potential to be more effective at killing cancer cells than other
therapeutic
payloads gives Algeta a great opportunity to build an extensive
pipeline of
targeted cancer therapies. This collaboration brings together Algeta, the
global
leader in alpha-pharmaceuticals and Immunomedics, a pioneer in antibody
products
and technologies. A TTC based on a well-validated antibody such as
epratuzumab
is an exciting prospect as we work to achieve our goal of generating a
clinical
candidate from the TTC platform in 2014".



Algeta's TTC strategy is based on gaining access to
carefully selected tumor-targeting molecules, via in-licensing,
collaboration or via third parties, to
which it links thorium-227 thereby creating potential new therapeutics.
Algeta's
disclosed TTC programs include collaborations with Sanofi and Ablynx,
programs
based on HER2-targeting (breast/ovarian cancer)
and PDGFR-beta-targeting (anti-angiogenesis) molecules in-licensed from
Affibody and two programs targeting
hematological cancers, including this newly announced program.



About Algeta's TTC Platform



Algeta is evaluating the potential utility of alpha-particle emitting
elements
in the treatment of cancer. Previous studies[1] have indicated that such
elements may have value in treating cancers by causing double-strand DNA
breaks
that trigger cell death, and have also shown that the
effects of alpha-emission are highly localized as a result of the very
short range of the alpha particle
(2-10 cell diameters). Thorium-227 is one alpha-particle emitting element
(radionuclide) that has been selected by Algeta for further investigation.
By
linking thorium-227 to cancer-targeting molecules such as monoclonal
antibodies,
Algeta believes it may be possible to develop a pipeline
of targeted alpha-pharmaceuticals, termed Targeted Thorium Conjugates, or
TTCs. The TTC platform
is at an early research phase in development. Algeta intends to evaluate
TTCs in
a broad range of cancer types to determine whether the TTC platform could
offer
advantages over naked (un-armed) antibodies or antibody-drug conjugate
technologies that use cytotoxic drugs (rather than alpha-emitting elements)
as
payloads. Such advantages may include increased potency, a more localized
tumoricidal effect and the potential to address drug resistance by virtue
of the
physical action of the alpha particles.



For more information about Algeta's technology, please visit
www.algeta.com : www.algeta.com .



About Algeta



Algeta is a company focused on developing novel targeted therapies for
patients
with cancer based on its alpha-pharmaceutical platform. The
Company is
headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and has a US subsidiary, Algeta US, LLC,
based in
Cambridge, MA performing commercial marketing operations in the US.
Algeta is
listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Ticker: ALGETA). For more information
please
visit www.algeta.com : www.algeta.com .



Forward-looking Statements



This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that are
based on
uncertainty, as they relate to events and depend on circumstances that
will
occur in the future and which, by their nature, may have an impact on
results of
operations and the financial condition of Algeta.
Such forward-looking statements reflect our current views and are based
on the information currently
available to Algeta. Algeta cannot give any assurance as to whether such
forward
looking statements will prove to be correct. These forward looking
statements
include statements regarding future development activities generally and
our TTC
program in particular. There are a number of factors that could cause
actual
results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or
implied by
these forward-looking statements. These factors include, among other
things,
risks or uncertainties associated with the success of future clinical
trials,
collaborations with other companies in the development of targeting
molecules,
general economic and business conditions and difficulties of obtaining
relevant
governmental approvals for new products, and the other risks and
uncertainties
described in our annual report.



[1] Hall (1994) Radiobiology for the Radiologist (Lippincott, Philadelphia)



This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to
section
5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.



Press release:



hugin.info/134655/R/1673269/544682.pdf : hugin.info/134655/R/1673269/544682.pdf



This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of
Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that:



(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and
other applicable laws; and



(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and
originality of the information contained therein.



Source: Algeta ASA via Thomson Reuters ONE



[HUG#1673269]




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