MediGene AG signed a co-development deal with the South Korean contract manufacturing company Celltrion, for the commercialisation of an anti-L1 monoclonal antibody (L1 MAb) for the treatment of cancer. The companies will share responsibilities for development and commercialisation, with Celltrion conducting process development and manufacturing of the product. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The project is based on the tumour marker L1, which was licensed by MediGene from the German Cancer Research Centre (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). The two partners intend to develop the L1 antibody for the treatment of ovarian cancer. L1 occurs on the surfaces of ovarian and endometrial tumors, but is not found in healthy tissue, making it suitable as a biomarker for diagnostics and for targeting chemotherapy.
Celltrion is currently attempting to evolve into a fully integrated biotechnology company through the research and development of its own products as well as co-development of biopharmaceutical products via in-licensing deals with biopharmaceutical companies in the US and Europe.
MediGene was a spin out from the Munich Gene Centre in 1994 and floated on the Frankfurt Exchange in 2000. When its gene therapy products failed it changed tack, becoming a speciality pharmaceuticals company through in-licensing marketed products. In 2006 it acquired Oxford University spin out Avidex Ltd.