Liège, Belgium, Grenoble, France and Seoul, South Korea, March 20, 2019 – PDC*line Pharma, a biotech company developing a new class of potent and scalable antigen presenting cell, based on a proprietary cell line of Plasmacytoid Dendritic cells (PDC*line), announces today that it has signed an exclusive licensing and option agreement with LG Chem Life Sciences Company, the life sciences division of LG Chem Ltd. This agreement, which includes a development and commercialization collaboration agreement, opens new markets to PDC*line Pharma and expands the global footprint of its PDC*line-based cancer vaccine.
Under the terms of the agreements, PDC*line Pharma will co-operate with LG Chem, who will have the full rights in South Korea and an exclusive option for other Asian countries, to develop and commercialize the company’s drug candidate, PDC*lung, in lung cancer. PDC*lung is constituted of a PDC*line loaded with HLA-A2 restricted peptides derived from six shared tumor antigens.
PDC*line Pharma is eligible for upfront and near-term milestone payments, plus longer-term clinical development and regulatory milestones totaling up to €108M ($123M). The company will also receive royalties based on net sales of the licensed product in LG Chem’s Asian markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, PDC*line Pharma will continue developing its PDC*lung candidate in the EU, US and global markets outside of Asia, and LG Chem will be responsible for future development and commercialization in its territories.
Eric Halioua, president & CEO of PDC*line Pharma, said: “We are very pleased to co-operate with LG Chem and to start the development of our PDC*lung cancer vaccine in Asia. This licensing agreement is a great opportunity for PDC*line Pharma to expand the scope of its immuno-oncology clinical programs and bring our technology to numerous patients around the world. Furthermore, the agreement with LG-Chem Life Sciences Company, a leading pharmaceutical company in Korea, is a major endorsement for our unique PDC*line approach and its potential.”
Dr. Jeewoong Son, president of LG Chem Life Sciences Company, said: “We are delighted to start this strategic collaboration with PDC*line Pharma, a great partnership to further expand LG Chem’s cell-based cancer immunotherapy portfolio. PDC*line Pharma’s technology is backed by cutting-edge science and we believe we can extend its reach by bringing this novel therapy to a greater number of cancer patients.”
About PDC*line Pharma
Founded in 2014 as a spin-off of the French Blood Bank (EFS), PDC*line Pharma is a Belgian-French biotech company that develops an innovative class of active immunotherapies for cancers, based on a GMP-grade allogeneic therapeutic cell line of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC*line). PDC*line is much more potent than conventional Dendritic Cell-based vaccines to prime and boost antitumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cells, including T cells specific for neoantigens, and is synergistic with checkpoint inhibitors. The technology can be applied to any type of cancer. Following a first-in-human phase I feasibility study in melanoma, PDC*line Pharma focuses on the development of PDC*lung, a candidate for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and neoantigens (PDC*Neo). A phase Ib/IIa trial, aimed at evaluating safety and activity with and without anti-PD1, is being initiated in 2019 with PDC*lung. The company has a staff of 20 people, with an experienced management team. The company has so far raised €17M ($19.3M) including €7.6M ($8.6M) in equity and loans from Belgian investors (MeusInvest, Innodem3, InvestSud and SFPI) and several business angels, and €9.3M ($10.5M) of non-dilutive money (including grants from the Walloon region, Belgium and French entities). www.pdc-line-pharma.com
About PDC*line Pharma’s technology
PDC*line’s biological features provide unique advantages:
- PDC*line is a professional antigen-presenting cell, much more potent than conventional DC in priming and expanding antitumor-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells (conventional tumor antigens and neoantigens)
- While allogeneic, PDC*line is not rejected and can be injected several times to boost the immune response
- PDC*line can easily be produced on a large scale, with a fully mastered and simple manufacturing process (use of bioreactors with synthetic medium without growth, differentiation or activation factors)
- PDC*line is easy to use: after thawing, the same off-the-shelf product is used to treat the whole target population with a cancer type expressing the target antigens
- PDC*line is very versatile : tumor antigens can be provided by peptide loading, mRNA transfection or retrovirus transduction of PDC*line, and the target population can be extended beyond HLA-A2 (currently used as it is expressed by 50% of Caucasian population) by using other HLAs, either already expressed by PDC*line or added by genetic modification. Moreover, new candidates can be validated for new cancer indications in a few weeks, with ex vivo testing using human PBMC
- PDC*line synergizes with anti-PD-1 to activate antitumor CD8+ T cells
About LG Chem Life Sciences Company
LG Chem Life Sciences Company focuses on developing, manufacturing and commercializing pharmaceutical products globally. The company seeks to expand and globalize its presence by focusing on its key core therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology and metabolic diseases (specifically, diabetes and related metabolic diseases). To achieve this, its strategy is to actively pursue global collaboration encompassing all business models from asset-centric to strategic investment and research collaboration.