Palleon Pharmaceuticals Signs Exclusive License Agreement with King’s College London for Intellectual Property Related to Glycoimmune Checkpoints to Treat Cancer
WALTHAM, Mass., December 12, 2017 — Palleon Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing Glycoimmune Checkpoint Inhibitors to treat cancer, today announced an agreement with King’s College London to license intellectual property developed in the laboratory of Joy Burchell, Ph.D., Professor of Glyco-Oncology at the university. This agreement gives Palleon the exclusive rights to a patent portfolio that will facilitate the development of drugs that target Glycoimmune Checkpoints, a novel approach to overcoming resistance to first-generation immuno-oncology drugs.
Professor Burchell has been a leader in the field of aberrant glycosylation in breast cancer for over 25 years. Earlier in her career she developed tools that demonstrated that more than 90% of breast cancers, and many other carcinomas, carry glycans that are different from those carried by proteins on normal cells. She was the first to show that a mucin known as MUC1 is present in the sera of breast cancer patients. This discovery enabled the development of the CA15.3 test, a serum assay used to measure the response to breast cancer treatment and to monitor recurrence of breast cancer. More recently, Professor Burchell has been investigating how aberrant glycosylation of MUC1 plays a significant role in immunosuppression and allows the cancer to thrive.
Jim Broderick, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Palleon, commented, “Professor Burchell’s research is at the forefront of understanding how tumors use glycans to evade the immune system. We now know that tumor cells down-regulate a wide spectrum of immune cell types by cloaking themselves in certain glycan patterns, and that this mechanism of immunosuppression can be targeted by a new class of drugs. This licensing agreement strengthens Palleon’s position as the leader in this new approach to defeating cancer’s suppression of the human immune system.”
Dr. Burchell added, “We have known about the alteration of glycans on the surface of malignant cells for decades. However, recent discoveries in the field of glycoscience have demonstrated the role of glycans in immunosuppression. Glycobiology is now emerging as a major axis of immunosuppression in cancer. We expect these findings to provide the foundation for developing immuno-oncology drugs that will have a significant impact on the lives of patients.”
About Palleon Pharmaceuticals
Palleon Pharmaceuticals is the leading biotechnology company focused on developing Glycoimmune Checkpoint inhibitors to treat cancer. The company’s proprietary Convergence Platform integrates technologies and insights from world-renowned scientific leaders in the fields of glycoscience and human immunology to create a novel approach to treating cancer. By targeting multiple immune cell types, Glycoimmune Checkpoint inhibitors will tackle resistance to first-generation immuno-oncology agents, and make possible a wider range of rational combination therapies to treat cancer. While Palleon is focused primarily on oncology, the Convergence Platform is applicable to other therapeutic areas including infectious diseases, neurodegeneration, inflammation, and fibrosis. The company is advancing its pipeline and development programs with a $47.6 million Series A financing from leading biotech venture investors SR One, Pfizer Ventures, Vertex Ventures HC, Takeda Ventures, and AbbVie Ventures. Learn more at www.palleonpharma.com.
About King’s College London
King’s College London is a research-led university founded in 1829 and located in the heart of London. King’s has more than 29,600 students, of whom nearly 11,700 are graduate students from some 150 countries worldwide. King’s has influenced many of the advances that shape modern life, including the discovery of the structure of DNA, research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones, and radar, and many developments in medicine and healthcare including aseptic surgery and palliative care. Twelve researchers who have worked or studied at King’s and its constituent institutions have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Learn more at www.kcl.ac.uk.
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