Cancer Research Technology, the oncology-focused development and commercialisation firm wholly owned by charity Cancer Research UK, has signed an exclusive worldwide licence with Italy’s Abiogen Pharma S.p.A regarding the antibody RFB4.

The deal replaces an earlier license issued to the Pisa-based firm, and allows it to continue using RFB4, in combination with key technology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, to develop its new therapies. In return, CRT will receive a signature fee, milestone payments and a percentage of future royalties.

RFB4, originally developed by researchers at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, which then passed ownership rights to Imperial Cancer Research Technology (before it became CRT), is an antibody against the B cell antigen CD22. CD22 is expressed in approximately 70% of B cell lymphomas and leukaemias, and therefore RFB4 has the potential to form part of future selectively-targeted therapies against such cancers. Abiogen is currently testing two such therapies in Phase I clinical trials.

Further details were not disclosed.