Private immuno-oncology company Aduro Biotech Inc. recently announced that they will partner with Janssen Biotech Inc. on a series of toxicology studies to support an Investigational New Drug Application for ADU-741 in prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. It is a curable cancer that usually features slow growth and affects older men. In fact, older age, race and a family history of the disease are risk factors for prostate cancer development.
Aduro Biotech Inc. has developed a live attenuated double-deleted (LADD) Listeria monocytogenes bacteria system. Listeria bacteria has been studied and used for more than 50 years as a research tool in immunology. In Aduro’s system, the bacteria was engineered to encode and express specific tumor antigens, and conceived to be absorbed by the antigen presenting cells of the patient in order to trigger both a strong innate and a targeted adaptive immune response.
This engineered immunotherapy can be used as a therapeutic agent against cancer. In addition, the LADD platform has a well-characterized safety profile based on multiple clinical trials conducted so far, and it can be used as a monotherapy or in combination with other therapies. Based on this, Aduro developed ADU-741, a Listeria-based immunotherapeutic product targeting several undisclosed prostate-specific antigens to be used in prostate cancer therapy.
Promising preclinical results with ADU-741 led to the decision to advance to the next phase in drug development — clinical trials. This decision prompted a significant milestone payment by Janssen Biotech to Aduro, who had already obtained an exclusive worldwide license for global development and commercialization rights over ADU-741. According to this agreement, Aduro is entitled to receive a significant amount of additional funding, depending on the achievement of defined tasks and development of regulatory and commercialization goals.
“This is an important validation of our ability to rapidly engineer new product candidates from our LADD platform” said the chairman, president and CEO of Aduro, Stephen T. Isaacs in a press release. “We are pleased to earn the associated milestone payment and importantly to see our technology progress toward clinical trials to evaluate its utility in prostate cancer.”