Collaboration for the discovery and development of innovative cancer-specific CAR-NK products is underway, leveraging Combotope Therapeutics’ proprietary Tumor Glycoform specific scFv discovery platform and CiMaas’s Adoptive CAR-NK technology.

  • CiMaas has the option to develop and commercialize up to three therapeutic candidates.
  • Combotope Therapeutics will receive upfront payment, success fees, and royalties on sales.
  • First candidate Mucin-1 tumor glycoform nominated.

Copenhagen, Denmark, and Maastricht, the Netherlands: Combotope Therapeutics and CiMaas jointly announce an oncology research and license option agreement. Under this agreement, CiMaas has the option to select three tumor glycoform protein targets, with the aim of discovering and developing next-generation CAR-NK and CAR-T antibody-based therapeutics for cancer treatment. The first selected target is the Mucin-1 tumor glycoform. CiMaas will provide funding for the preclinical and clinical development of these candidates up to clinical proof of concept.

Ola Blixt, CEO of Combotope Therapeutics, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with CiMaas for co-developing these antibody sequences into more effective CAR-NK and CAR-T cells for immunotherapy. The sequences are discovered using Combotope Therapeutics’ proprietary antibody development platform, iDEAL. This platform facilitates the rapid selection and optimization of tumor-specific antibodies that target aberrantly glycosylated proteins found solely on cancer cells. iDEAL has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment by offering targeted therapy that is both safe and effective.

Søren N. Jakobsen, COO of Combotope Therapeutics, highlights that this strategic partnership exemplifies a win-win scenario, showcasing how Combotope intends to expedite the development and commercialization of a wide array of innovative scFv-based anti-cancer therapies, both off-the-shelf and personalized, through mutually beneficial pharmaceutical collaborations.

Wilfred Germeraad, CSO of CiMaas, highlighted the significance of Mucin-1 as a cancer cell target. CiMaas aims to utilize the antibodies developed by Combotope Therapeutics to create optimized CAR-NK cells with enhanced specificity for stronger binding activity against solid tumor cells. This enhancement will activate Natural Killer cells more effectively, enabling them to enhance their killing capacity. CiMaas has already demonstrated that such CAR-NK cells can eliminate more breast cancer cells than non-modified NK cells. Through this collaboration, CiMaas aims to bring this improved concept to clinical practice as swiftly as possible.

Gerard Bos, CEO of CiMaas, emphasized that this collaboration and exclusive license option enable them to further leverage NK cells against cancer. CiMaas, in conjunction with university partners in Maastricht (NL) and Utrecht (NL), is currently researching the role of Mucin-1 as a target in pre-clinical breast cancer models as a final step toward clinical application. In addition, tumor cells originating from T cell Non-Hodgin lymphoma are more sensitive to CAR-NK cell killing.

Financial Terms: According to the agreement, CiMaas will provide Combotope Therapeutics with an upfront payment. Combotope Therapeutics will be eligible for potential milestone payments per therapeutic candidate exclusively licensed, developed and commercialized by CiMaas, as well as tiered royalties.

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