Algeta initiates new R&D program to investigate a Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC) against hematological cancers

Algeta initiates new R&D program to investigate a Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC) against hematological cancers

Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:55am EDT

Not intended for US media

Oslo, Norway, 16 August 2012 - Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA), a company focused on the development of novel targeted cancer therapeutics, announces it has initiated a new research and development program aimed at investigating the effect of a novel Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC) on hematological cancers.

The program will focus on the development of an undisclosed monoclonal antibody, which is highly selective for a validated cell surface target on hematological cancer cells, linked to the alpha-particle emitter thorium-227 (Th-227).

This new program represents Algeta's fourth TTC program and as part of the project the Company has entered into a fee-for-service agreement with Cobra Biologics (, a cGMP Contract Manufacturing Organisation of biologics, which will manufacture the antibody in its GMP-approved facility in Södertälje, Sweden. Algeta has already demonstrated it can chelate Th-227 to this antibody in exploratory studies.

Thomas Ramdahl PhD, Algeta's EVP and Chief Technology Officer, said: "This new TTC program is ideally suited to Algeta's plans for a pipeline of new targeted cancer therapies. The chosen antibody is highly selective for a validated hematological cancer target and we are excited to have started this new program. Furthermore, by manufacturing the antibody via this agreement with Cobra, we will have increased control over the development of this TTC and so retain maximum potential value."

Algeta's TTC strategy is based on gaining access to potential tumor-targeting molecules, via in-licensing, collaboration or via third parties, to which it links Th-227 thereby creating patentable molecules. The Company raised nearly USD 50m in February 2012, a significant proportion of which is intended to be allocated to advancing its TTC programs. To date, Algeta has established programs based on HER2-targeting (breast/ovarian cancer) and PDGFRβ-targeting (anti-angiogenesis) molecules in-licensed from Affibody as well as a collaboration with Sanofi (Genzyme) to develop a TTC based on a novel, undisclosed tumor-targeting antibody.

About the 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 could 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.

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For further information, please contact
Mike Booth
Communications & Corporate Affairs  +47 2202 4510
[email protected]