Catalent Pharma Solutions today announced that based on compelling data generated by the SMARTag™ ADC platform, it has increased its minority investment in Redwood Bioscience. The proprietary SMARTag precision protein-chemical engineering platform and novel toxin-linker technologies developed by Redwood enable the generation of homogeneous antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) engineered to enhance potency, safety and stability.
Catalent announced in April 2013 that it had acquired an exclusive license to market the SMARTag technology and has subsequently collaborated with Redwood for the ongoing development and marketing of the technology. As part of the collaboration, Catalent took a minority equity stake in Redwood, which may increase over time up to a potential acquisition.
Redwood’s novel, site-specific protein modification and linker technologies enable the generation of homogenous bioconjugates engineered to improve performance and ease of manufacturing. Combined with Catalent’s proprietary GPEx® cell line expression system, its recently completed state-of-the-art biomanufacturing Center of Excellence in Madison, Wisconsin and broad range of analytical and fill-finish services, the latest investment marks a further expansion of Catalent’s capabilities to help customers develop more and better biologic treatments.
“The potential that we initially identified in the SMARTag technology has been borne out by the successful achievement of in vivo and in vitro proof of concept milestones, leading to our next phase of investment,” commented Barry Littlejohns, President, Advanced Delivery Technologies. He added “These studies have further illustrated that our ongoing collaboration with Redwood will offer significant and differentiating value to our growing number of customers looking to develop next-generation ADC therapies.”
Redwood’s novel protein conjugation and linker technologies overcome the limitations associated with conventional protein chemistries that produce heterogeneous products with variable conjugate potency, toxicity and stability. The SMARTag technology enables site-specific, programmable drug-protein conjugation and uses only naturally occurring modifications to proteins requiring minimal cell-line engineering. The programmability afforded by Redwood’s technology provides control over conjugate configuration, generating ADCs with optimal efficacy, safety and stability. The Redwood platform also enables the use of proprietary conjugation chemistry that reduces systemic drug loss and increases targeted potency. Redwood has developed an array of cytotoxin-linkers utilizing this novel chemistry, which are designed for optimal stability.