Oxford BioTherapeutics Licenses Nerviano Medical Sciences’ Drug-Linker


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Oxford BioTherapeutics Licenses Nerviano Medical Sciences’ Drug-Linker Technology to Develop Novel Antibody Drug Conjugates


Oxford, UK; San Jose, CA and Nerviano, Italy – 04 April 2016 – Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT), a company developing a range of innovative Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer and Nerviano Medical Sciences (Nerviano), a company of the NMS Group dedicated to the discovery and development of breakthrough treatments for cancer today announce that they have signed a license agreement that will allow OBT to utilise Nerviano’s novel ‘payload’ (drug-linker) technology to expand its ADC development portfolio, which is designed to meet multiple unmet needs in the field of cancer.

Under the agreement, OBT has licensed Nerviano’s payload technology for an exclusive OBT 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. As a result of this agreement, Nerviano will receive undisclosed fees, development linked milestones and royalties for granting OBT access to its technology. Nerviano will lead the effort in the manufacture and supply of its novel drug-linker technology.

OBT’s current ADC pipeline has been generated using the Company’s proprietary OGAP® targeting platform, and includes novel antibodies and proven drug-linker technologies accessed from leading companies in the field. The deal with Nerviano gives OBT access to a new payload technology based on a next-generation duocarmycin analogue.

Nerviano’s novel drug-linker technology of new DNA intercalating agents is based on a proprietary thienoindole scaffold, characterized both by potent antitumor activity and by physicochemical properties that are highly compatible with deployment as antibody payloads. Nerviano’s core technologies in the field further include: medicinal chemistry expertise, know-how for establishing proof of concept, GMP manufacturing of payloads as well as efficacy and safety profiling of ADC’s.

Christian Rohlff, CEO of OBT, commented: “We are making excellent progress towards our goal of becoming a world leader in developing ADCs for the treatment of cancer. We are very pleased to have signed today’s deal with Nerviano as it provides us with access to its next generation drug linker technology for ADCs. We are looking forward to working with the Nerviano team to develop additional ADC candidates that are designed to address unmet needs in cancer.”

Andrea Agazzi, President of NMS Group, commented: “We are pleased to have signed this licensing deal with OBT. We believe that their expertise in ADCs will allow us together to fully capitalise on the significant potential of Nerviano’s next generation drug linker technologies to develop the ADCs that are clearly needed to improve the lives of patients with cancer.”





About Oxford BioTherapeutics

Oxford BioTherapeutics is a privately-held biotechnology company which is developing a range of innovative antibody-based therapeutics with antibody drug conjugate (ADCs) and immuno-oncology approaches for the treatment of cancer. The company’s therapies are directed at targets selected from an exclusive cancer proteome database generated on its proprietary OGAP® platform targeting cell surface proteins. These incorporate novel antibody and drug-linker technologies accessed from leading companies in the field. OGAP® is the world’s largest cancer library with over 5,000 cancer cell proteins providing unique, highly-valuable oncology targets.

Oxford BioTherapeutics entered a strategic agreement with Menarini in 2012 to accelerate the development of its ADCs, under which Menarini provides clinical and manufacturing expertise and potential investment of up to $1 billion, plus potential milestone and royalty payments, in exchange for commercial rights in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Oxford BioTherapeutics retains commercial rights in the US and Japan.

Oxford BioTherapeutics has a strong management team with significant experience in developing antibody-based therapies. The company is based in Oxford, UK and San Jose, CA. For further information, please see,

About Nerviano Medical Sciences

NMS Group is the largest Italian company committed to innovation and research and development in oncology.

The NMS Group, with about 430 employees, has over 200 qualified scientists dedicated to research and development of cancer therapies ranging from ‘target validation’ to phase II clinical trials.

Nerviano Medical Sciences with its discovery and preclinical research team represents the innovative core of the NMS Group and positions it as a relevant national and international leader in the field of personalized therapy. The NMS Group is an important entity in Italy capable of managing the entire integrated flow of the research and development process in oncology from discovery to pre-clinical research, and up to the early clinical phases, including the manufacturing and packaging of finished potent drugs.

NMS Group provides also research and production services addressed to local and international partners through three different fully controlled affiliates: Accelera, a preclinical CRO; Clioss , a clinical CRO and Nerpharma, a CMO dealing from process development and production of API to formulation of active principles.



OBT Contact Information:

Chief Executive Officer:Christian Rohlff, Ph.D.+(44)-(0)1235-861770
Media enquiries / Consilium:


Amber Fennell, Jonathan Birt,    Lindsey Neville+44 (0) 203 709 5708


Nerviano Medical Sciences Contact Information:

Business Development:                      Federico Bertolero, M.D.        +39 0331 581239


Media enquiries

NMS Group Communication:             Chiara Lattuada          +39 333 8425690




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