Glythera and IONTAS enter into license agreement for the development of multiple antibodies for next-generation Antibody Drug Conjugates

  • IONTAS will provide Glythera with antibodies from its fully human antibody libraries

  • Glythera will use these antibodies, in combination with its novel toxin portfolio, to develop next generation ADCs with improved efficacy and safety, to target difficult-to-treat tumours

Cambridge and Newcastle, UK, 20th September, 2017: Glythera Limited (‘Glythera’), the next generation Antibody Drug Conjugate (‘ADC’) development Company, and IONTAS Limited (IONTAS), a leader in services and platform technologies associated with the discovery and optimisation of fully human antibody drugs, today announced a collaboration for the development of ADCs for difficult-to-treat cancers. As part of the agreement, IONTAS will generate novel, fully human antibodies against specified targets for proof-of-concept studies. Glythera will have an option for exclusive, worldwide rights to resulting antibodies for the development of ADCs alongside its proprietary conjugation platform, PermaLink® and its in-house portfolio of novel toxins.

The two companies will select and optimise multiple undisclosed antibodies for ADC development with Glythera exercising its option right to exclusively develop and commercialise the resulting antibodies in ADC formats. Glythera will continue to evaluate numerous ultra-potent ADC-relevant toxin classes, including novel and known mechanisms, with an intention to nominate its first clinical ADC candidate by 2019.

IONTAS will utilize its unique antibody discovery services and bespoke phage display libraries for antibody discovery. Glythera will subsequently generate PermaLink-based ADCs which have been shown to provide a near-100% improvement in tolerability when compared with maleimide-based ADCs in in-vivo models, as well as enhanced tumour cell-killing and an overall improvement in tumour response in xenograft models. The inherent stability of PermaLink permits the use of ultra-potent toxins for ADCs with enhanced efficacy and safety

IONTAS will receive undisclosed development and clinical milestone payments on each of the ADCs. Glythera will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any ADC products resulting from the agreement.

Dr John McCafferty, CEO at IONTAS, commented:

"This Agreement reflects the ambition of IONTAS to establish broader relationships with partners for multiple antibody deals using our proprietary technology platforms. We believe our expertise and efficiency in antibody discovery will help Glythera with their ultimate short term goal of being in clinic by 2019."

Dr Dave Simpson, CEO at Glythera, said:

"We identified IONTAS as the ideal partner for antibody discovery, due to their proprietary phage display technology and libraries, providing the potential for development of multiple antibodies. The combination of IONTAS’ experience and expertise, with our proven PermaLink platform, will support our mission to target difficult-to-treat tumours, and progress towards the clinic."


Notes to Editors
Glythera Ltd

Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer
Ian Evetts, Chief Business Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 191 6031680
[email protected]


Neil Butt, Chief Business Officer

Tel: +44 1223 750801
[email protected]

Zyme Communications

Lorna Cuddon

Tel: +44 (0)1223 968 920
[email protected]

About Glythera Limited

Glythera is a biotechnology company focused on the development of next generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) designed to combat difficult-to-treat tumours, including those that are resistant or refractory to current treatment regimens. Glythera’s pipeline of safe and effective ADCs is centred on its highly stable PermaLink® conjugation platform in combination with a portfolio of highly potent cytotoxic payloads designed to enhance antitumor activity and improve the lives of cancer patients.


IONTAS is a biotechnology company focused on antibody discovery and cutting edge technology development. IONTAS offers services for antibody discovery using Phage Display Technology; and the supply of bespoke phage display libraries. In addition, IONTAS has developed proprietary antibody discovery platforms including 1) Mammalian Display where full IgG antibodies are expressed in the context of a mammalian cell thereby allowing selection based on function, stability, expression and manufacturability; and 2) KnotBody technology which facilitates the targeting of ion channels, GPCRs and proteases. The KnotBody platform combines ion channel modulating functionality of naturally-occurring cystine-knot miniproteins (e.g. venom toxins) with the specificity and in vivo half-life of monoclonal antibodies.