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Evogenix to develop anti-cancer antibody

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http://www.theage.com.au/news/Business/ ... 50562.html

April 10, 2006 - 1:14PM

Sydney-based drug company Evogenix has made an agreement with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) to develop an anti-cancer antibody, which it says has large market potential.

Under the deal, Evogenix will apply its technologies to rapidly advance the hamster antibody DMF10, which has shown evidence of activity against lung cancer and melanoma.

Evogenix said it will use its technologies to advance DMF10 to the stage where it can be tested in patients and "humanised" to eliminate rejection and kill cancer.

Chief executive Merilyn Sleigh said the agreement is important for Evogenix because of the high potential of the drug.

"Our scientific advisors have assessed this opportunity as extremely favourable for Evogenix because DMF10 has already undergone extensive testing by its inventor," Dr Sleigh said.

"It is perfectly placed for immediate application of our technology platform to create what we expect to be a valuable cancer treatment.

"Based on the size of antibody deals being done in the industry, its large potential market and the success of cancer antibodies ... we believe that DMF10 will attract very strong attention as a licensing prospect and should yield very attractive terms."

Developed by professor and chair of pathology at UMMS, Dr Kenneth Rock, DMF10 attacks a structure on the surface of cancer cells, which is not found on normal cells.

Evogenix said before out-licensing the antibody, it will spend the next 12 months trying to fast track the development of the cancer treatment.

The terms of agreement with the UMMS include an upfront payment, milestone payments and a small royalty of future product sales.

The ASX-listed company was formed five years ago to develop science coming out of the Cooperative Research Centre for Diagnostics and CSIRO Division of Health Sciences and Nutrition.

Its shares closed two cents higher to 42 cents.

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