GEORGETOWN, TX–April 15, 2011–Molecular Templates announced today that they have entered into a research collaboration with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to develop Engineered Toxin Bodies (ETB) for lymphomas.
The research collaboration will focus on Molecular Templates’ ETB program for the tumor antigen CD20. ETBs represent a new class of small biologic therapeutics evolved from a proprietary toxin scaffold that possesses a host of unique biological properties including the ability to force internalization, self-translocate intracellularly, and induce direct cell-kill. ETBs induce their own internalization via CD20, which is a receptor known not to normally internalize rapidly. The research will be conducted under the auspices of Dr. David Scheinberg, the Vincent Astor Chair of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program and the Experimental Therapeutics Center at MSKCC.
“We are excited to partner with a premier cancer research institution like Memorial Sloan-Kettering,” said Eric Poma, PhD, CEO of Molecular Templates. “We look forward to working with Dr. Scheinberg to rapidly drive our ETB program for CD20 toward human clinical trials”.
ETBs are targeted small biologic molecules derived from an engineered toxin scaffold that retain the potent direct cell-kill properties, internalization capabilities, and predictable pharmacokinetics of the parent toxin, but have significantly reduced immunogenicity. These features allow ETBs to target receptor epitopes that may not be accessible by other modalities and also render targets like CD20 to be uniquely druggable with ETBs.
“Therapeutic approaches to treating lymphomas by targeting CD20 are clinically validated and effective. ETBs offer a new mechanism of action that does not use appended cytotoxic agents. These properties have us excited about the prospects of further validating the therapeutic potential of ETBs,” said Dr. Scheinberg.
About Molecular Templates
Molecular Templates is a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of a new class of targeted biologic therapeutics called Engineered Toxin Bodies (ETB) platform technology. The company is pursuing development of various ETBs across a wide range of disease areas including cancer, autoimmune, and infectious disease. For more information, visit www.moleculartemplates.com.