Enzon Inc. announced Wednesday a joint developmentagreement with Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics Inc. to work on anti-cancer drugs.
The agreement envisions combining Enzon's Pegnology andsingle-chain antigen-binding protein (SCA) technologies withCytoclonal's tumor necrosis factor (TNF) derivatives. Its goal isto reduce or eliminate the toxicity problems associated with theuse of TNF to treat cancer. No financial terms of the agreementwere disclosed.
Discovered 15 years ago, TNF was initially considered apotential cancer cure because it caused cell death in one-thirdof 60 tumor types tested, according to Enzon of SouthPlainfield, N.J. Its toxicity and short duration of action limitedits use.
Enzon's Pegnology couples polyethyleneglycol (PEG) strands toproteins, such as TNF, to extend their blood-circulating life andreduce their immunogenicity. Enzon projects that PEG-modifiedTNF derivatives can achieve therapeutic effectiveness withlower and less-frequent doses, and acceptable toxicity.
Enzon's SCA technology yields genetically engineered antigen-binding proteins that can be targeted against specific cancers.These SCAs will be based on cancer-specific monoclonalantibodies available from Dallas-based Cytoclonal and Enzon.
The companies have not yet selected specific cancers to target,said Donna Chappina, Enzon's corporate communicationsmanager. This is the eighth such collaboration for Enzon(NASDAQ:ENZN). "We intend to do this with the whole industry,"Chappina said.
Privately held Cytoclonal was founded last September andcompleted a $5 million private financing in February.
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