Korean drugmaker Celltrion has paid KRW 1 billion ($700,000) to access Pinot Bio’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) linker-payload technology.
The PINOT-ADC platform, comprising of an independent drug and linker technology, overcomes the resistance limitations of existing ADC drugs, according to developer Pinot Bio.
As such, fellow Korean firm Celltrion has tapped up the technology, forging a deal for up to 15 ADC candidates targeting solid tumor cancers using the platform. According to the Korea Biomedical Review, on top of the KRW 1 billion upfront payment, Celltrion could pay up to $1.2 billion through milestones and royalties if all 15 options are exercised.
Celltrion is best known for its portfolio of marketed biosimilars, but the deal with Pinot is not the firm’s first foray into ADCs.
In 2019, a deal with iProgen Biotech was struck to develop a pipeline of products based on Celltrion’s portfolio of monoclonal antibodies. And last year, the firm invested $47 million in UK-based ADC developer Iksuda Therapeutics.
“In attempts to tackle tumors that are resistant to current treatment approaches, we are consistently expanding our partnership with several ADC firms such as Pinotbio and Iksuda Therapeutics,” Celltrion spokesperson Eunyoung Lee told BioProcess Insider.
“We have several anticancer antibody biosimilar products such as Truxima, Herzuma, and Vegzelma and working to expand our anticancer R&D capability through ADC platform technology.
“We drive to pioneer uncharted areas of innovative therapies, incorporating unique and successful next-generational approaches that promote health and welfare globally.”