Bright Peak Therapeutics, Ajinomoto Collaborates to Create Novel Immunocytokines

Bright Peak Therapeutics has announced a research and licensing collaboration with Ajinomoto to incorporate AJICAP,  Ajinomoto Co.’s proprietary site-specific bioconjugation technology, for the development of Bright Peak Immunocytokines.

Bright Peak leverages a novel ligation technology to chemically synthesize therapeutic cytokines by ligating together customized peptide segments. This platform offers unique flexibility to tune and augment cytokine biology through affinity modification and orthogonal, site-specific conjugation, respectively. 

Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, Bright Peak will use Ajinomoto’s AJICAP technology, a proprietary site-specific bioconjugation technology compatible with commonly used antibody isotypes, to conjugate Bright Peak’s enhanced cytokines as payloads to certain antibodies, creating novel and proprietary Bright Peak Immunocytokines; while shelling out money for the development, as well as for regulatory and commercial milestone achievements and royalties on commercial sales.

Ikena Oncology Unveils Pricing of Initial Public Offering

Ikena Oncology had announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 7,812,500 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $16.00 per share. The shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on March 26, 2021, under the ticker symbol “IKNA’’, and expected to close by March 30. 

Ikena is a targeted oncology company focused on developing cancer therapies targeting key signalling pathways that drive the formation and spread of cancer. The company plans to use the gross funds from the offering to advance its programs that includes four product candidates in either clinical development or IND-enabling studies namely IK-930, IK-175, IK-412, and IK-007

The company had also collaborated with Bristol-Myers Squibb to further advance the development of IK-175 and IK-412 programs.

FDA Adcomm rejects Lilly/Pfizer’s Tanezumab for Osteoarthritis Pain 

Pfizer has long been developing a therapy to target pain associates with Osteoarthritis. The drug, Tanezumab, which is administered via injection, once in two months gap, has been tested in more than 40 clinical trials. 

As per the data from trials, the drug does not result in any gastrointestinal problems, stroke risk, and isn’t addictive. However, in some rare cases, it may increase the chances of cartilage loss around joints. 

Based on the results, two FDA advisory committees were appointed to look into the matter and decide if the benefits outweigh the risks and the committee voted 19-1 against the drug stating that benefits of the drug as boasted by the duo (Pfizer and Lilly) does not ensure if it would benefit patients on the verge of putting them at risk. 

The committees also stood against the plan of the companies to market the drug with a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) to address these concerns citing confusion, and unawareness among patients related to different classes of drugs. It seems that companies will have to try harder than are to get their therapy into the market.