Colby Pharmaceutical and MannKind have entered a license agreement granting Colby exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize disease-specific antigen compounds and intra-lymph node delivery technologies from MannKind’s MKC1106 active immunotherapy programs. These programs are currently being developed for the treatment of melanoma, prostate, hematological disorders and other cancers.
MannKind will receive an upfront payment and milestones related to the development, approval and commercialization of products, with potential payments totaling $140 million. MannKind will also receive royalties on sales.
Intra-lymph node injections of cancer vaccine antigens have been shown to generate more potent therapeutic T-cell responses, when compared to cancer vaccine antigen immunizations using traditional intra-muscular or sub-cutaneous injections. A Phase I human melanoma study of MKC1106-MT using repeat intra-lymph nodal injection, was well-tolerated and generated strong immune responses, meeting the primary endpoints.
“We are very keen on this opportunity and in continuing to work with the experienced drug development team at MannKind,” said David Zarling, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Colby. “We have good reason to believe that our collaboration will uncover other more optimal cancer vaccine modalities and synergies with novel adjuvants not yet realized by others working on cancer vaccines and immune activation. We believe that MannKind’s ILNI and our new immune activators, like JVRS-100 or JVRS-200, or other adjuvants, will prove to be important for rational cancer immunotherapies.”