Glythera licenses novel payload class from Cancer Research UK for the development of next-generation antibody drug conjugates

  • Glythera gains exclusive access to Cancer Research UK’s novel CDK11 inhibitor programme for the development of ADCs conjugated using its highly stable conjugation platform, PermaLink®

  • Glythera will generate multiple ADCs with improved therapeutic index directed towards antigens specific to difficult-to-treat tumours, combining CDK11 inhibitors with its growing in-house antibody portfolio

Glythera Limited (Glythera), the next generation antibody drug conjugate (ADC) development company, and Cancer Research UK* today announced an agreement giving Glythera exclusive, worldwide rights to the charity’s novel CDK11 inhibitor payload series for the development of multiple ADCs conjugated using Glythera’s proprietary PermaLink® conjugation platform.

According to the agreement, Glythera and Cancer Research UK will select and optimise toxins from the inhibitor payload series for development in ADCs. Glythera will then progress multiple ADCs, optimised according to cancer cell-kill profiles, for difficult-to-treat tumours. Glythera is currently evaluating a range of clinically important antibody targets and intends to identify its first clinical ADC candidate by 2019.

This agreement follows a successful period of collaboration between the parties during which the viability of selected low molecular weight CDK11 molecules was demonstrated in relevant ADC models.

The CDK11 inhibitor programme has identified a series of low molecular weight, synthetically tractable compounds which potently inhibit and are selective against other kinase targets. The series demonstrates highly potent anti-proliferative activity in dividing and non-dividing tumour cells and represents an exciting approach for ADCs.

Under the Terms of the agreement, Cancer Research UK will receive an undisclosed up-front fee, milestone payments on programme success for each resulting ADC, and royalties on worldwide product sales. Glythera is responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any ADC products resulting from the agreement.

Dr Hamish Ryder, Director of Cancer Research UK’s Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories, said:

"This collaboration highlights the success of our drug discovery approach in translating the most promising early stage research into new cancer treatments.

We’re excited to work with Glythera to identify and advance the very best novel agents and develop targeted treatments for cancer patients. By continuing to bring together industry and world leading academics in this field, we hope to transform the outlook for people with cancers that are the hardest to treat."

Dr Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Glythera, said:

"I am delighted that Glythera is working with Cancer Research UK as we look to identify and develop CDK11 inhibitor payloads and antibody conjugates to combat difficult-to-treat solid tumours and improve the lives of patients living with cancer."


Notes to Editors

*Cancer Research UK’s commercial activity operates through Cancer Research Technology Ltd. (CRT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK. It is the legal entity which pursues drug discovery research in themed alliance partnerships and delivers varied commercial partnering arrangements.

For further information please contact:

Glythera Ltd

Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer
Ian Evetts, Chief Business Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 191 6031680
[email protected]

FTI Consulting

Tel: +44 (0) 020 3727 1000
Simon Conway / Mo Noonan / Rob Winder

Zyme Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 7811996942
[email protected]
Lorna Cuddon

Cancer Research UK

Kathryn Ingham
Tel +44 (0) 2034695475
[email protected]

About Glythera Limited

Glythera is a biotechnology company focussed 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

For further information visit:

About Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Our specialist Commercial Partnerships Team work closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies. This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner.

About Cancer Research UK
  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
    Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
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