Vegenics Limited’s licensee, New York-based ImClone Systems, has designated the human therapeutic antibody IMC-3C5 as a formal pre-clinical development candidate for oncology indications.

 

Vegenics is the fully owned subsidiary of Circadian Technologies. IMC-3C5 is an antibody, which neutralizes VEGFR-3. Vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, and its receptors play a pivotal role in normal and pathologic angiogenesis and are expressed in many solid and hematologic malignancies.

Scientists from ImClone together with Vegenics’ collaborator scientists recently published in the scientific journal Nature that VEGFR-3 has a previously unknown role in directing the formation of blood supply to tumors as well as to the retina Using antibodies to block both receptors VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3, the research team found an additive effect in inhibition of tumor growth in animals by effectively starving the cancer cells.

The finding indicate that the efficacy of existing anti-angiogenic therapies, such as the cancer drug Avastin, may be improved by the addition of agents which inhibit VEGFR-3 mediated angiogenesis such as VEGF-C or VEGF-D antibodies.

“ImClone is one of the most experienced developers of therapeutic antibodies for cancer therapies in the world today. Being able to partner the development of our VEGFR-3 technology with ImClone is a tremendous validation for our technology,” said Mr Robert Klupacs, CEO, Circadian and Vegenics.

ImClone has exclusive rights from Vegenics to develop the VEGFR-3 antibody in return for annual license fees and royalties on potential future product sales. ImClone will now undertake formal pre-clinical studies of IMC-3C5. The first indications to be investigated will be in solid tumors.