CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. is developing next generation antibody therapies, enzyme-activated antibodies (Probodies™). They have developed the Probody™ Platform which can achieve unprecedented accuracy targeting diseased tissue, potentially resolving toxicity problems related to current antibody treatments such as those with Erbitux™ and Vectibix™. The platform is driving the discovery and development of an entire portfolio of promising targets and pathways in areas such as oncology, inflammatory disease and autoimmune conditions. If CytomX can discover and produce a drug that works for patients, without a host of side effects, they could have a best-in-class drug.
Monoclonal antibodies have become some of the most successful drugs in the last 10 years including Roche/Genentech’s Avastin, Rituxan and Herceptin which accounted for $17B in sales last year. However, current monoclonal antibody treatments have certain limitations due to their systemic penetration throughout the body. CytomX’s “Probody” technology platform aims to be the Monoclonal Antibody 2.0 by targeting ONLY the receptors found on cancer cells. In other words, while circulating through the body after being given through IV, CytomX’s Probodies (or masked antibodies) will be able to differentiate between an EGFR receptor found on a cancer cell and an EGFR receptor found on a skin or gut cell (the protective mask is cleaved in the presence of high levels of certain proteins that are distinctive and only found on cancer cells).
By selectively targeting cancer cells only, CytomX will be able to deliver much higher amounts of toxic cancer killing ‘payloads’ while drastically minimizing side effects such as rash and nausea commonly experienced by Erbitux and Vectibix patients
CytomX grabbed $20 million led by Pfizer Inc.'s venture capital arm to help partner its sneaky cancer fighters with new types of drugs and build out its own portfolio
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will use CytomX Therapeutics’ Probody™ drug discovery platform in a collaboration to find, develop, and commercialize new immunotherapies against multiple cancer immunotherapy targets.