Transgene Biotek Signs MOU with Canadian Armour Therapeutics Inc.
Transgene Biotek Ltd, one of India’s earliest biotechnology companies, signalled its continued westward expansion with the signing of a Memorandum-of-Understanding with Armour Therapeutics Inc. of Toronto, Canada. Transgene and Armour are exploring a strategic relationship to co-develop Armour’s drug candidates for reproductive cancers. Armour’s lead anti-relaxin molecule, AT-001, is being developed to treat hormone refractory prostate cancer.
Dr. Josh Silvertown, CEO of Armour said, “Armour and Transgene believe that prospects for Armour’s AT-001 will be greatly enhanced when combined with Transgene’s proprietary oral delivery technology, a novel, more convenient, possibly more effective, and potentially cheaper mode of delivery than current subcutaneous routes for biologic-based drugs ”.
Transgene’s TrabiOralTM drug delivery platform is based on multiple issued and pending patents for the delivery of protein and peptide-based drugs, and monoclonal antibodies. Transgene also has another novel and proprietary drug delivery platform called TrabiDerm™, which is a unique technology that has the ability to deliver several biologically active molecules including peptides such as testosterone, human growth hormone and erythropoietin as well as vitamins such as D3, B12 etc. This is yet another significant milestone for Transgene’s drug delivery programs, following the presentation of both delivery technologies during the 3rd World Congress on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence, and the completion of the first product utilizing the TrabiDerm™ platform, a product called CoBenCoDerm™.
CoBenCoDerm™ is a unique, patented transdermal formulation of analogues of various components including Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3 and Curcumin. Key targets for CoBenCoDerm™ include several inflammatory conditions, many of which can be pre-cursors for the onset of more serious diseases including Alzheimers and Multiple Sclerosis. Pre-clinical in-vivo studies are planned against Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
The newly signed Memorandum-of-Understanding with Armour potentially paves the way for a strategic relationship between the two companies, unlocking scientific and operational synergies, providing Transgene with another presence in the West giving it better access to more seasoned investors and strategic partners, and enabling Armour access to novel drug delivery technologies.
As a further signal of Transgene’s long term strategic geographical focus, the company has recently engaged HealthPro BioVentures LLC, a New York based registered investment bank and strategic advisory firm that specializes in the life sciences industry. Dr Rao, Managing Director of Transgene stated, “We’re extremely pleased to be working with HealthPro. They’re a firm that exhibits a real flair in being able to identify technologies that have the potential to yield game-changing results in the biotech field. We are therefore very excited that they’ve chosen to work with us and our pipeline. HealthPro has the ability to look at our pipeline and specifically pick out parts that they know can be further enhanced by the addition of certain external strategic relationships. This is exactly what leads to out-licensing deals… which as you know, puts us exactly where we want to be.”
Martin Kratchman, Founder and Managing Partner of HealthPro BioVentures LLC stated, “Transgene is an exciting global biotech company, with a robust pipeline of unique assets and a transdermal delivery platform technology, that we believe will be a value-add to US, European and Latin American companies.” Further echoing Dr. Rao’s comments, Dr. Ajit Patwardhan, Vice President of Investment Banking at HealthPro, also added, “ Transgene is a uniquely placed company in the Indian biotech sector, one of only a handful of companies, to take drugs from pre-clinical stage to market. Unlike the vast majority of Indian pharmaceutical companies, Transgene has always focused on scientific innovation rather than manufacturing, something that has led to the creation of a large and immensely valuable pipeline of drugs and platforms. We look forward to working closely with the management team to findstrategic capital for its competitive pipeline.”
Last year, Transgene decided to more fully align interests with its biotech peers in the West and focus on collaborative relationships to leverage its drug discovery and drug delivery capabilities.