Defence Therapeutics and Orano agree to collaborate on radio-immuno-conjugates

Defence Therapeutics Inc. is pleased to announce that they have signed a collaboration agreement with Orano to develop next-generation radio-immuno-conjugates using their intracellular targeting technology.

Under the agreement, Defence will develop the first radio-immuno-conjugate therapy based on an Auger electron emitter by combining Defence’s intracellular targeting and radiochemistry expertise provided by Orano SA, a world-renowned multinational company based in Chatillon, France.

The novel concept will help develop new targeted radiotherapies by combining the ability of biological molecules (e.g., an antibody) to target cancer cells with radioactive elements to destroy them. The new radiotherapies will work with Defence’s intracellular targeting technology to increase efficacy.

Defence’s technology can kill cancer cells

Indium will be used in the development as this type of radioactive element needs to be situated close to the DNA to damage and kill cancerous cells. Defence’s intracellular targeting technology could be the ultimate solution in improving the therapeutic efficacy of Auger electron radionuclide. The results could lead to an optimised product from which GLP tox studies can be planned accordingly.

Poor intracellular drug delivery to cancer cells, which can cause resistance and recurrence, is an issue for existing antibody-conjugate drugs and clinical radio-immuno-conjugates. When radio-immuno-conjugates use Auger emitters such ln, their efficacy is dependent on their proximity to the DNA.

Combining Defence’s AccumTM technology with the radio-immuno-conjugate is expected to amplify the therapeutic index of the drug while minimising side effects observed in patients undergoing the therapy. Defence’s AccumTM platform has been developed and tested in in vitro and in vivo in animal models to enhance intranuclear drug delivery on multiple FDA-approved antibody conjugates.

“We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in developing our AccumTM platform technology, including in the antibody-conjugate therapeutics field, and we believe that Orano, with their international expertise, will be a strong collaborator for the development of the next generation of radio-immuno-conjugates using Defence’s intracellular targeting technology to increase the efficacy in targeting tumoral cancer cells,” said Sebastien Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics.

“We look forward to the continued advancement of our AccumTM-expanding pipeline,” he added.

According to The Insight Partners, the radiopharmaceuticals market is projected to reach US$13.818bn by 2028 from US$7.55bn in 2021; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% between 2021 and 2028. The global cancer immunotherapy market is expected to reach USD196.45bn by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecasted period, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc.

About Defence

Defence Therapeutics is a publicly-traded biotechnology company working on engineering the next generation of vaccines and ADC products using its proprietary platform. The core of the Defence Therapeutics platform is the ACCUMTM technology, which enables the precise delivery of vaccine antigens and ADCs in their intact form to target cells by inducing their entrapment escape. As a result, increased efficacy and potency can be reached against catastrophic illnesses such as cancer and infectious diseases.