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


OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - Jan 28, 2013) -

CD22 is a well-validated target for hematological cancers

Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA) has initiated a newresearch program to evaluate a novel Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC)thatcombines Algeta's proprietary thorium-227 alpha-pharmaceutical payloadwith ananti-CD22 monoclonal antibody (epratuzumab) developed by Immunomedics,Inc.(NASDAQ: IMMU).

Epratuzumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds to theCD22glycoprotein on the surface of B cells. Epratuzumab has been evaluatedfor thetreatment of a variety of hematological cancers and for autoimmune diseasessuchas systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Under the terms of this agreement, Immunomedicswill provide clinical-grade antibody to Algeta, which has rights toevaluate the potential of a TTC, linkingthorium-227 to epratuzumab, for the treatment of cancer. Algeta willfund allpreclinical and clinical development costs up to the end of phase Itesting.Upon successful completion of phase I testing, the parties shall negotiatetermsfor a license at Algeta's request according to certain parameters nowagreedbetween the companies. Payments in the first year from Algeta toImmunomedicsinclude a signature fee, an antibody delivery milestone and payments forcGMPantibody manufacture. No further details of the agreement are disclosed.

Thomas Ramdahl, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer ofAlgeta,said: "The broad utility of our proprietary thorium-227 payload anditspotential to be more effective at killing cancer cells than othertherapeuticpayloads gives Algeta a great opportunity to build an extensivepipeline oftargeted cancer therapies. This collaboration brings together Algeta, thegloballeader in alpha-pharmaceuticals and Immunomedics, a pioneer in antibodyproductsand technologies. A TTC based on a well-validated antibody such asepratuzumabis an exciting prospect as we work to achieve our goal of generating aclinicalcandidate from the TTC platform in 2014".

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

About Algeta's TTC Platform

Algeta is evaluating the potential utility of alpha-particle emittingelementsin the treatment of cancer. Previous studies[1] have indicated that suchelements may have value in treating cancers by causing double-strand DNAbreaksthat trigger cell death, and have also shown that theeffects of alpha-emission are highly localized as a result of the veryshort 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.Bylinking thorium-227 to cancer-targeting molecules such as monoclonalantibodies,Algeta believes it may be possible to develop a pipelineof targeted alpha-pharmaceuticals, termed Targeted Thorium Conjugates, orTTCs. The TTC platformis at an early research phase in development. Algeta intends to evaluateTTCs ina broad range of cancer types to determine whether the TTC platform couldofferadvantages over naked (un-armed) antibodies or antibody-drug conjugatetechnologies that use cytotoxic drugs (rather than alpha-emitting elements)aspayloads. Such advantages may include increased potency, a more localizedtumoricidal effect and the potential to address drug resistance by virtueof thephysical action of the alpha particles.

For more information about Algeta's technology, please

About Algeta

Algeta is a company focused on developing novel targeted therapies forpatientswith cancer based on its alpha-pharmaceutical platform. TheCompany isheadquartered in Oslo, Norway, and has a US subsidiary, Algeta US, LLC,based inCambridge, MA performing commercial marketing operations in the US.Algeta islisted on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ALGETA.OL). For more informationpleasevisit

Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that arebased onuncertainty, as they relate to events and depend on circumstances thatwilloccur in the future and which, by their nature, may have an impact onresults ofoperations and the financial condition of Algeta.Such forward-looking statements reflect our current views and are basedon the information currentlyavailable to Algeta. Algeta cannot give any assurance as to whether suchforwardlooking statements will prove to be correct. These forward lookingstatementsinclude statements regarding future development activities generally andour TTCprogram in particular. There are a number of factors that could causeactualresults and developments to differ materially from those expressed orimplied bythese forward-looking statements. These factors include, among otherthings,risks or uncertainties associated with the success of future clinicaltrials,collaborations with other companies in the development of targetingmolecules,general economic and business conditions and difficulties of obtainingrelevantgovernmental approvals for new products, and the other risks anduncertaintiesdescribed in our annual report.

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

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant tosection5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

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Source: Algeta ASA via Thomson Reuters ONE


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