Industry News: Aptamer and PinotBio collaborate to develop new therapeutic drug conjugates

07 Jun 2021


Aptamer Group Limited, the developer of Optimer™ Therapeutics, and PinotBio, a clinical-stage oncology-focused biotechnology company, have announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement. The agreement is to develop Optimer-drug conjugates for targeted drug delivery combining Aptamer Group’s Optimer technology with PinotBio’s technology using the chemotherapeutic FL-118 compound with a specific linker.

Optimer therapeutics are optimized aptamer solutions. Optimer-drug conjugates offer uniquely specific targeting vehicles for the delivery of therapeutic agents to selected cell populations and tissues for the treatment of disease.

PinotBio's FL-118 payload system is a novel camptothecin-based payload to be used in various carrier-drug conjugates, including Optimer-drug conjugates. FL-118 shows strong anti-cancer effects against various tumor models and at the same time possesses good safety profiles to be developed as a part of the multi-target collaboration. Aptamer will provide the developed Optimers to Pinotbio for use with their payload and linker technologies. PinotBio will generate and optimize Optimer-drug conjugates against multiple undisclosed targets. PinotBio will carry out pre-clinical research and development to evaluate each of the Optimer-drug conjugates and their potential to progress as clinical candidates for the treatment of haematological cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. 

The commercial terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

Dr. Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer of Aptamer Group, commented:
I am very excited to have established this collaboration with PinotBio. The development of drug conjugates that combine the benefits of Optimer binders to selectively and efficiently target PinotBio’s novel linker delivery system to the tumor site for activation and therapeutic delivery represents the next evolution in drug delivery technology. We are looking forward to working with the team at PinotBio and believe this collaboration has the potential to develop much-needed improved oncological treatments.

Dr. Doo Young Jung, Chief Executive Officer of PinotBio, also commented: I am very excited to begin this collaboration with Aptamer Group Limited. This field of targeted delivery of anti-cancer compounds is fast growing and at the same time fast changing. Combining 3 things, right target, right vehicle, and right payload is equally important. I believe that through this collaboration, we can combine the right vehicle and payload to result in novel drug candidates with a potential to change the cancer treatment landscape.

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