In June 2015 the Almac Discovery team entered an R&D collaboration with Elasmogen, an Aberdeen University-based biologics drug discovery company, to co-develop Elasmogen’s soloMERTM technology for the treatment of solid tumors.
Elasmogen and Almac jointly manage the research and development activities aimed at developing a drug candidate to an oncology target. Both parties share costs, with Almac being responsible for commercialization.
SoloMERsTM are humanized versions of antibody-like proteins that were first discovered in sharks. They are chemically robust molecules that tolerate conjugation well. It’s believed that soloMERsTM bind specifically to the cancer tissue and will penetrate inside the tumor before releasing their war-head of anti-cancer drugs, maximizing the damage to the tumor and minimizing the toxic effects to healthy tissues.
The £2M peer reviewed collaborative project entitled ‘A Technology Platform for Next Generation VNAR based Oncology Medicines’, plans to utilize the highly selective, high affinity and yet low molecular weight non-antibody VNAR protein scaffold and build a versatile platform to facilitate the discovery and development of targeted oncology therapeutics.
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency working with people, companies and partner organizations to find and drive science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.
In June 2017, the Almac Discovery team entered a Licensing and R&D collaboration with Debiopharm International SA., a Switzerland based specialty pharmaceutical company, to pursue the development of Almac Discovery’s Wee-1 kinase inhibitors. The Wee-1 kinase is a key regulator of the cell cycle and inhibition of Wee-1 kinase has been shown to force arrested cells through the cell cycle leading to cell death.
Almac Discovery has granted exclusive global rights to its Wee-1 kinase inhibitor patent families and related subject matter expertise to Debiopharm and are eligible to receive, in addition to the upfront payment, further development and commercial milestone payments plus royalties from Debiopharm.