POINT Biopharma Global Inc. (NASDAQ: PNT) (the “Company” or “POINT”), a company accelerating the discovery, development, and global access to life-changing radiopharmaceuticals, and Athebio AG (“Athebio”), an innovation leader in the discovery and design of designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), today announced a collaboration and license agreement to develop and commercialize DARPin-targeted radioligands (“Radio-DARPins”).
DARPins are an attractive ligand class for cell-surface targets that could enable access to cell “surfaceome” targets beyond catalytic and ligand binding sites typically accessible to small molecules and peptides. DARPins combine the small molecule feature of rapid tumor penetration and clearance from the body, with the antibody-like ability of binding to a wider range of proteins and other cell surface targets. Their well-behaved and customizable formatting options, including stability at high concentrations and temperatures, are expected to facilitate rapid discovery, validation, and commercial scale manufacturing applicable to fast (212Pb) and slower (177Lu, 225Ac) decaying isotopes.
The collaboration gives POINT exclusive access to Athebio’s intellectual property and capabilities in DARPin development in the radioligand therapy field. Together, the parties will collaborate in discovery, candidate selection and preclinical development of Athebody DARPins for use as Radio-DARPin drug entities. POINT will be solely responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of Radio-DARPins translated from the discovery collaboration.
"The holy grail of radioligand development is the ability to engineer ligands that can precisely deliver radiation and also have physical properties that are resistant to radiolytic damage, enabling them to be manufactured at scale,“ said Joe McCann, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of POINT Biopharma. “DARPins represent a potential goldilocks opportunity in this regard, and could unlock new cell surface targets creating a new horizon for the development of novel targeted radioligand therapies. I am excited by this collaboration with Athebio, experts in DARPin technology, as it further expands our library of tools to engineer next-generation radioligands.”
“We are very excited to join forces with POINT. POINT is uniquely positioned in the radiotherapy field and just as committed as we are to unlock the full potential of Athebody DARPins to develop radiopharmaceuticals for patients in need,” said Patrik Forrer, one of the inventors of the DARPin technology and CEO and Chairman of Athebio. “The exceptional properties of our Athebody DARPins make them ideally suited for targeting radioisotopes. In particular their high stability should allow for simple conjugation to radioisotopes and their small size and high affinity binding with precise specificity should allow for superior targeting of tumors. The convergence of these attributes holds immense promise for pushing the boundaries of radiotherapy.”