Ajinomoto and Exelixis to discover and develop novel ADCs to treat cancer

antibody drug conjugate adc small cancer treatment

Ajinomoto Co., Inc. has signed a license agreement with Exelixis, Inc. to incorporate AJICAP, Ajinomoto Co.’s proprietary site-specific bioconjugation and linker technologies, in the development of some of Exelixis’ antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) programs.

Exelixis is an oncology-focused biotechnology company looking to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines for difficult-to-treat cancers. Utilizing its network of biotherapeutics collaborations, the company is developing next generation ADCs for the treatment of various cancers

Ajinomoto Co. is a technology provider for biopharmaceuticals and the owner of CDMO Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services. AJICAP is Ajinomoto Co.’s proprietary site-specific bioconjugation and stable linker technologies compatible with commonly used antibody isotypes. 

AJICAP technology includes its “off-the-shelf” feature, allowing any therapeutic antibody at any stage of development to be conjugated to drug-payloads of choice without the need for antibody engineering or cell line development, and stable/hydrophilic linkers to generate antibody-drug conjugates with an enhanced therapeutic window.

As part of the license agreement, Exelixis will have the right to use the AJICAP technology to support its aim of advancing multiple ADCs with the potential for higher efficacy and lower toxicity than currently available options. 

Ajinomoto Co. is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on commercial sales.

Tatsuya Okuzumi, general manager, Business Development Group, Bio-Pharma Services Department, Ajinomoto Co., said: “We are very excited to support Exelixis, a leader in oncology drug discovery, development, and commercialization, in the development of novel antibody-drug conjugates. The combination of Exelixis’ antibodies and payloads with Ajinomoto Co.’s AJICAP opens up a wide range of oncology applications and may be harnessed to provide a clinical benefit to patients.”

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