ExonHit Signs an Exclusive Agreement with Genmab for Novel Splice Variant Targets in Breast Cancer

15-Jun-2010 - France
ExonHit Therapeutics announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Genmab A/S for a selection of novel splice variants, identified as part of a successful pilot study, that have the potential to be therapeutic targets for breast cancer. Genmab retains exclusive development and commercialization rights on 10 events out of a breast cancer database developed using ExonHit’s genome-wide SpliceArray™ technology. “Breast cancer is the leading cause of death by cancer in women and there is still a significant need for new therapies against this disease. As already demonstrated with Allergan’s recent outlicensing deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb, our genome-wide SpliceArray™ platform can contribute to the development of innovative and more efficacious treatment by identifying novel therapeutics targets,” said Loïc Maurel M.D., President of ExonHit Therapeutics' Management Board. “This pilot study clearly demonstrates the ability of ExonHit’s technology to identify novel target candidates for breast cancer treatment approaches.” ExonHit has applied its target discovery platform to identify over 2,700 RNA sequences that are expressed specifically in breast cancer tissue. These sequences are part of a database that can be analyzed using workflows tailored to different target and therapeutic classes. For example, over 400 sequences were identified which could lead to new epitopes for antibody discovery in the treatment of breast cancer. Of particular interest are sequences with the potential to create novel epitopes in well-characterized cancer genes. A set of 10 such sequences that are indicative of alternative splicing events in targets suitable for developing antibody-based therapeutics have been retained by Genmab for further characterization. Under the terms of the agreement, Genmab owns first negotiation rights on other epitopes that ExonHit further characterizes from this data. ExonHit retains full rights on all uses of the database. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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