Nordic Nanovector ASA, an innovative biotechnology company focusing on the development and commercialization of novel targeted therapeutics in haematology and oncology, has entered into a research and development collaboration programme with Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland.
The collaboration aims at developing new antibody radionuclide conjugates (ARCs) optimized for the treatment of single cell leukaemias, such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). CLL and AML are serious orphan diseases with a survival rate for AML at 5 years of only 26%, and 82% for CLL. It is a significant unmet medical need, which affect more than 50,000 patients per year worldwide. Together these two indications represent a growing market worth more than $4 billion per year.
The collaboration will explore the use of different radionuclide payloads, provided by PSI, linked to Nordic Nanovector’s chimeric anti-CD37 antibody (NNV003) to combine specific tumour-targeting with tumour-eradicating radiation. Successful candidates are expected to be advanced into preclinical and clinical trials.
The collaboration will benefit from grant funding recently awarded to Nordic Nanovector from the Research Council of Norway’s user-driven research-based innovation programme.
Nordic Nanovector’s Chief Scientific Officer, Jostein Dahle, commented: “We are delighted that, through this new collaboration, we can benefit from the world-class radionuclide research emanating from PSI to further enhance our own expertise in ARCs. We believe that the potential of our CD37-targeting approaches provides an excellent framework for us to create a pipeline of ARCs with profiles suitable for treating multiple types of leukaemia and lymphoma. This project is a positive step towards Nordic Nanovector’s mission of extending and improving the lives of patients with haematological cancers.”
Nordic Nanovector’s most advanced ARC, Betalutin, which comprises the murine anti-CD37 antibody (HH1) conjugated to lutetium-177, is currently in a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of third and second line non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Betalutin has the potential to be a very valuable treatment alternative for NHL, another very serious and highly prevalent hematological disease, based on the promising efficacy, safety and sustained duration of response data that has been observed in clinical studies to-date.