Oslo, Norway, 30 April 2012 - Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA), a company focused on the development of novel targeted cancer therapeutics, announces that its research collaboration with Sanofi (previously Genzyme) has been extended. This collaboration, which was announced in April 2011, is focused on evaluating the potential of linking the alpha-emitter thorium-227 to a novel and proprietary antibody from Genzyme to create a tumor-targeting alpha-pharmaceutical (also known as a Targeted Thorium Conjugate, or TTC).
Over the past 12 months, Algeta and Genzyme have jointly pursued a defined research program and both have contributed resources and expertise to the collaboration. The program and the encouraging results produced to date have been reviewed by Algeta and Sanofi (following its 2011 acquisition of Genzyme) and both parties have now decided that the collaboration should continue on the same basis for a further year.
Thomas Ramdahl, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Algeta, said: "We have made significant progress in this collaboration with Genzyme and are delighted that it is to continue with the added antibody experience provided by the broader Sanofi team."
About the TTC Platform
Thorium-227 is an element (radionuclide) that emits high-energy alpha particles. Such elements are of considerable interest in the treatment of cancer as they are potent at killing tumor cells and have a highly localized effect as a result of the very short range of the alpha particle (2-10 cell diameters). Thorium-227 is not inherently tumor-targeting, but by linking it to tumor-targeting molecules such as antibodies, Algeta believes it can develop a new class of highly targeted alpha-pharmaceuticals (Targeted Thorium Conjugates, or TTCs). TTCs have the potential to address a broad range of cancers and could offer unique advantages over current antibody-drug conjugates that use cytotoxic drugs as payloads. Such advantages may include increased potency, highly-localized tumoricidal effect and the ability to overcome drug resistance of the cancer cells by virtue of the direct tumor-killing action of the alpha particles.