CASI Pharmaceuticals has announced the signing of a license agreement for exclusive worldwide rights to the investigational anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody (Mab) TSK011010 program from Black Belt Therapeutics.
Under the terms of the agreement, CASI has obtained global rights to TSK011010 for an upfront payment of 5 million euros and an equity investment of 2 million euros, as well as certain milestone and royalty payments.
The equity investment will be made in a newly established company of Black Belt Therapeutics focusing on novel immuno-oncology targets. CASI will be responsible for all development and commercialization activities of the TSK011010 program.
TSK011010 is at the IND/IMPD submission stage of development, with Phase 1 trials expected to start in late 2019/early 2020. Preclinical data demonstrate TSK011010 to have enhanced activity against a broad array of malignancies which express CD38 and potentially better safety when compared to other CD38 Mabs.
Wei-Wu He, Ph.D., CASI’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “This license agreement for TSK011010 is very exciting because based on preclinical data, we believe this molecule has the potential to be best in class and will hopefully translate into meaningful clinical benefits for patients with CD38 malignancies, including multiple myeloma. The addition of TSK011010 to our portfolio provides CASI the opportunity to offer a range of therapeutic options for the treatment of hematologic malignancies.”
Alexander Zukiwski, M.D., CASI’s Chief Medical Officer commented, “The preclinical data for TSK011010 targeting multiple myeloma has shown impressive results thus far and seems to outperform other anti-CD38 Mabs. We are enthusiastic and look forward to the clinical development for this novel biological entity as a potential treatment for patients with hematological malignancies, such as multiple myeloma.”
Anti-CD38 Mab TSK011010 is a fully human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that recognizes a unique epitope on CD38. It has demonstrated potent CD38+ cell killing, and was designed to directly activate effector T cells and NK cells.
In preclinical studies it has demonstrated immune effector mechanisms with strong antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) activity. GLP IND-enabling studies have been completed and IND/IMPD submissions are planned for 2019.
Source: Company Press Release