Ajinomoto and Exelixis Enter Into a License Agreement to Discover and Develop Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of Cancer
TOKYO January 10, 2023 – Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (“Ajinomoto Co.”) today announced a license agreement with Exelixis, Inc. (“Exelixis”) to incorporate AJICAP®, Ajinomoto Co.’s proprietary site-specific bioconjugation and linker technologies, in the development of certain of Exelixis’ antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) programs.
Exelixis is a commercially successful, oncology-focused biotechnology company that strives to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines for difficult-to-treat cancers. Utilizing its network of biotherapeutics collaborations, the company is developing next generation ADCs for the treatment of various cancers. Ajinomoto Co. is a leading technology provider for biopharmaceuticals and the owner of CDMO Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services. AJICAP® is Ajinomoto Co.’s proprietary site-specific bioconjugation and stable linker technologies compatible with commonly used antibody isotypes. AJICAP technology includes its “off-the-shelf” feature, allowing any therapeutic antibody at any stage of development to be conjugated to drug-payloads of choice without the need for antibody engineering or cell line development, and stable/hydrophilic linkers to generate antibody-drug conjugates with an enhanced therapeutic window.
As part of the license agreement, Exelixis will have the right to use the AJICAP technology to support its aim of advancing multiple ADCs with the potential for higher efficacy and lower toxicity than currently available options. Ajinomoto Co. is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on commercial sales.
Dr. Tatsuya Okuzumi, General Manager, Business Development Group, Bio-Pharma Services Department, Ajinomoto Co., expressed: “We are very excited to support Exelixis, a leader in oncology drug discovery, development, and commercialization, in the development of novel antibody-drug conjugates. The combination of Exelixis’ antibodies and payloads with Ajinomoto Co.’s AJICAP opens up a wide range of oncology applications and may be harnessed to provide a clinical benefit to patients.”
About Ajinomoto Co. and Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services Based on the corporate message “Eat Well, Live Well.”, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. has been scientifically pursuing the possibilities of amino acids to aim for future growth by creating new value through sustainable and innovative solutions for communities and society. For additional information about Ajinomoto Co. (TYO: 2802), please visit www.ajinomoto.com.
As its pharmaceutical arm, Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services is a fully integrated contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with sites in Belgium, United States, Japan, and India, providing comprehensive development, cGMP manufacturing, and aseptic fill finish services for small and large molecule APIs and intermediates. For more information about Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, please visit www.AjiBio-Pharma.com.
In addition, Ajinomoto Co. and Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services offer a broad range of innovative platform technologies and capabilities for pre-clinical and pilot programs to commercial quantities, including AJIPHASE® oligonucleotide manufacturing technology, CORYNEX® and TALAMAX® protein expression systems, AJICAP® site-specific conjugation and linker technologies for ADCs, continuous flow manufacturing and more. For additional information on the platform technologies, please visit https://ajibio-pharma.ajinomoto.com/.
About Exelixis, Inc. Founded in 1994, Exelixis, Inc. (Exelixis) is a commercially successful, oncology-focused biotechnology company that strives to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines for difficult-to-treat cancers. Following early work in model system genetics, Exelixis established a broad drug discovery and development platform that has served as the foundation for our continued efforts to bring new cancer therapies to patients in need. Exelixis’ discovery efforts have resulted in four commercially available products, CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib), COMETRIQ® (cabozantinib), COTELLIC® (cobimetinib) and MINNEBRO® (esaxerenone), and Exelixis has entered into partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to bring these important medicines to patients worldwide. Supported by revenues from marketed products and collaborations, Exelixis is committed to prudently reinvesting in our business to maximize the potential of our pipeline. Exelixis is supplementing existing therapeutic assets with targeted business development activities and internal drug discovery — all to deliver the next generation of Exelixis medicines and help patients recover stronger and live longer. Exelixis is a member of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) MidCap 400 index, which measures the performance of profitable mid-sized companies. For more information about Exelixis, please visit www.exelixis.com, follow @ExelixisInc on Twitter or like Exelixis, Inc. on Facebook.