Albumedix has entered into a collaborative research agreement with the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. The collaboration will explore the potential of novel applications of Albumedix’s albumin-based drug delivery platform, Veltis, to modulate immune pathways discovered at NYU.
The research collaboration done at both the NYU School of Medicine in New York, USA, and at the Albumedix research facility in Nottingham, UK, aims to investigate the potential of Albumedix’s engineered albumin-drug constructs as immuno-oncology therapies using novel immunomodulatory pathways.
From NYU, the collaboration will be led by Dr Dafna Bar-Sagi, Vice Dean for Science and Chief Scientific Officer at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr Bar-Sagi is one of the country’s leading cancer biologists, whose research has had a major impact on the understanding of mechanisms that control tumour initiation and progression. She is widely known for her work on the Ras oncogene and its role in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, cancer metabolism and tumour immunity.
Despite significant advancements in treatment options, cancer remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Increasing understanding of the underlying tumour biology in patients is a cornerstone of cancer research and drug development efforts.
As part of the collaboration, Dr Bar-Sagi’s laboratory will be responsible for evaluating the immuno-modulatory effect of albumin-drug constructs developed by Albumedix against various pathways involved in the response of immune cells to specific forms of cancer.
“Albumin-based therapies have already offered important benefits to patients worldwide. This collaboration enables us to take another step towards broadening their therapeutic potential,” comments Dr Darrell Sleep, Chief Scientific Officer at Albumedix. “Dr Bar-Sagi and her team are renowned experts who bring an extraordinary understanding of oncology to this collaboration. We are excited to work with them to elucidate the potential therapeutic role of our Veltis technology in oncology.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Bar-Sagi said: “Here at NYU, we have recently identified a number of novel and exciting immunomodulatory pathways in cancer. We look forward to exploring how such pathways can be targeted therapeutically using Albumedix’s technology.”
Albumedix has developed Veltis a technology platform based on recombinant human albumin variants engineered to improve the therapeutic half-life of APIs connected to Veltis and increase its drug payload capacity.
The use of albumin to extend the half-life of therapeutic proteins has been clinically validated through the approvals of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Tanzeum (GLP-1/albumin fusion for type 2 diabetes) and CSL Behring’s Idelvion (rhFactor IX/albumin fusion for haemophilia).
In parallel, Albumedix has been exploring the potential benefits of its Veltis technology in oncology applications. This research collaboration will help expand the mechanistic understanding of how albumin may play a role in facilitating cancer immune regulation.
This agreement will not impact the 2016 results and 2017 financial forecast for Albumedix’s parent company, Novozymes.