News Feature | December 19, 2014

Curie-Cancer, GamaMabs Renew Collaboration For Biologic Ovarian Cancer Drug

By Suzanne Hodsden

GamaMabs Pharma, a biotech specializing in the development of biologic cancer drugs, announced the extension of their collaboration with Curie-Cancer, a leading academic research institute. Researchers intend to continue work on 3C23K, an antibody treatment for ovarian cancer, particularly to learn its value in relapses.

3C23K is a monoclonal antibody that works by both boosting immune cells and targeting the anti-Müllerian hormone receptor (AMHR2). This hormone is expressed in 65 percent of ovarian and endometrial cancers. GamaMabs reports that the biologic shows a high rate of efficacy in animal models and has been found to work well with carboplatin and paclitaxel, two common chemotherapy agents used to treat ovarian cancer.

Jean-Francois Prost, scientific director at GamaMabs, credits his own long-standing friendship with Damien Salauze, director of Curie-Cancer, who suggested the collaboration. Curie-Cancer offers GamaMabs a large collection of mice models with patient derived xenografts (PDX) and tools that detect AMHR2 in patient biopsies.

Didier Decaudin, principal investigator for antibody, reported, “The promising results on different ovarian cancer subtypes in these PDX models confirm the potential of 3C23K.”

Curie-Cancer is a subset of Institut Curie, founded by Marie Curie in 1909. Partially funded by the French government, Cancer Curie has a staff of over 1,200 researchers devoted exclusively to oncology study. The entity works to augment through partnerships the creation and development of new cancer therapies.

In November, GamaMabs announced the start of another collaborative study with the Mayo Clinic and will likewise study the efficacy of 3C23K in PDX.

Prost remarked that the Mayo Clinic had over 250 ovarian cancer PDX, and commented, “We feel that PDX orthopedic models are the closest to human cancer biology and are the most pertinent tools to demonstrate the efficacy of a drug candidate.”

GamaMabs biotech is the creation of LFB S.A and Bpifrance, which formed the company with a $3.9 million investment in 2013. 3C23K is their very first project.

The biologic is currently in pre-clinical development and hopes to garner funding to enter into phase 1 clinical trials in the beginning of 2015.