Mumbai-headquartered pharma major Glenmark has entered into a licensing agreement with Advanced Proteome (AP) Therapeutics — a company co-founded by Indian-origin Vinod Patel and Venkateshwar Reddy in the US — to give boost to its portfolio of immuno-oncology therapies by leveraging the Boston-based biopharmaceutical company’s expertise in designing advanced targeted therapies against cancer cells.
The agreement gives Glenmark Pharmaceuticals exclusive rights to a small molecule, oncology compound based on antigen presenting cell (APC) biology. APCs are a heterogeneous group of immune cells that are responsible for co-ordinating the immune response, thus playing a critical role in cell-mediated immunity.
“This asset adds to our robust biologics pipeline of targeted IO (immuno-oncology) therapies,” said Kurt Stoeckli, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.
“The mechanism of action of APC biology is very intriguing and has the potential to be transformative in cancer treatment by triggering powerful immunologic responses to tumours that may lead to deeper and more durable responses to treatment,” Stoeckli added.
APCs effectively assess threats to the body by gathering information from proteins they encounter. They then use this information to instruct T cells which proteins they should react against.
Under the agreement, Glenmark will manage all clinical development, while APC Therapeutics will get sales royalty payments.
According to the global information and technology services company IMS Health, the international oncology market is projected to exceed $150 billion by 2020.
Targeted therapies, which may substantially increase long-term survival of cancer patients, is a key driver of this growth, and immuno-oncology is one of the most promising and fastest growing areas of cancer treatment and research.