A Czech biotech bets big on rising ADC player LegoChem as part of licensing pact aimed at solid tumors
Czech biotech Sotio will pay $29.5 million upfront and in near-term milestones with a potential $1.03 billion in downstream biobucks to license five antibody-drug conjugate programs from LegoChem Biosciences, the partners announced Tuesday.
Details on the collaboration are slim, but Sotio did say the programs would target distinct antigens in solid tumors. The pact will leverage Sotio’s antibody library with LegoChem’s payload-linker technology in what the partners hope will prove a potent combination against cancer.
Here’s what Sotio CEO Radek Spisek had to say about the deal:
At SOTIO we are building an innovative pipeline of ADC programs and plan IND filing for our lead program SOT102 by the end of 2021. The licensing agreement with our new, experienced partner LegoChem allows us to broaden our oncology pipeline with additional programs and solid tumor targets. We are looking forward to using the potential of LegoChem’s ADC technology platform and to develop innovative ADCs for patients in need.
Per the terms of their deal, Sotio will pick up R&D, manufacturing and commercialization for any potential marketed drugs while LegoChem will take on more of an advisory role in the early stages, the companies said.
Korea-based LegoChem has quietly circled in the ADC space for some time, linking research and licensing pacts with a range of small- to mid-size drugmakers over the past few years. But the pace has appeared to quicken in recent months.
Most recently, UK biotech Iksuda announced it was advancing an in-licensed LegoChem ADC, which targets the CD19 antigen and delivers a prodrug dubbed pyrrolobenzodiazepine. Iksuda is expected to file an IND for the drug this quarter with data reading out as early as Q3 2022.
In March, biotech Pyxis revealed a LegoChem in-licensed ADC as part of its growing drug portfolio. That candidate, PYX-202, is also aimed at solid tumors.
Meanwhile, Sotio has built a bustling pipeline of its own with the backing of the PPF Group, a Czech hedge fund. The drugmaker’s most advanced candidate is a IL-15 superagonist, dubbed SOT101, that is currently in Phase II testing. The company has a slate of cancer meds set to enter the clinic within the next 12 months, it said in a release.