BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Immuno-Designed Molecules SA signed a research collaboration with Nemod Immunotherapies AG for the development of new immunotherapies for cancer.

The companies will evaluate the potential synergy between certain antibodies of Nemod and IDM's MAK (monocyte-derived activated killer) cells taken from patients, which could enhance the potential of IDM's cell therapies to target and destroy tumoral cells. Paris-based IDM is developing a number of "cell drugs" and therapeutic vaccines for cancer, six of which are in clinical development.

IDM's business development manager, Claire Poyer, told BioWorld International that the evaluation process was expected to take less than a year. If there is found to be real synergy, Nemod then will grant IDM an exclusive license for the use of its antibodies in the field of ex vivo cancer therapies, permitting it to develop and commercialize new products to treat colon, stomach, breast, prostate and ovarian cancers.

Nemod, of Berlin-Buch, Germany, is specialized in the application of glycobiology to therapeutic antibodies. It has developed antibodies that identify a unique glycosylation model on three epitopes, or cancerous antigens: MUC1, TF (Thomson Friedenreich) and Lewis Y. TF is an antigen that is expressed only in tumors, and more especially in cancers of the colon and the digestive system, while MUC1 is overexpressed in breast and ovarian cancers. Lewis Y designates erythrocyte antigens that are associated with breast and prostate tumors, hepatocarcinoma and non-small-cell lung cancer.

Poyer said the deal could potentially result in IDM developing three new families of cell drugs, in which MAK cells are combined with one or more of those antigens. The products it currently has under development consist of MAK cells associated with bispecific antibodies.