Private UK group Oxford BioTherapeutics has signed a deal with Italy-based Nerviano Medical Sciences to secure access to its novel drug-linker technology with a view to expanding its own portfolio of antibody drug conjugates (ADC).

ADC technology basically links a monoclonal antibody with a ‘payload’ of deadly medicine for release inside the targeted cell, the idea being that such targeted delivery will boost effectiveness of treatment while preventing healthy tissues from being harmed.

Under the deal, financial specifics of which have been kept under wraps, OBT has licensed Nerviano’s payload technology for an exclusive target for development of an ADC.

The agreement also allows for evaluation of additional ADC development candidates with favourable activity/safety profiles, for which OBT will have the opportunity to exercise options to further licenses to the drug-linker technology on an antigen-exclusive basis. 

Nerviano will bank undisclosed fees, development linked milestones and royalties for granting OBT access to its technology, and will lead the effort in the manufacture and supply of its novel drug-linker technology.