GC Labcell said Wednesday that it has signed a 3 billion won ($2.7 million) licensing agreement with AbClon to acquire the latter’s antibody technology.
The contract comes after the two companies signed a cooperation agreement to develop a chimeric antigen receptor natural killer (CAR-NK) cell treatment jointly in August last year. Under the accord, GC Labcell will have exclusive worldwide rights to apply Abclon’s human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) target antibody technology to NK cells.
“CAR-NK is a next-generation cell therapy drug that increases the cancer-killing power of NK cells by expressing CAR protein, which only binds to cancer cells,” the company said.
AbClon's HER2 target antibody technique can increase the therapeutic effect of the CAR-NK cell. It increases the recognition rate of HER2, a protein over-expressed in stomach and breast cancer cells, and increases the killing power of NK cells
The company expects that such therapeutic benefit will help treat refractory cancer cells that do not respond to conventional anticancer drugs.
GC Labcell will now carry out a non-clinical study into gastric cancer using the acquired CAR-NK technology, which combines the mass production and freezing formulation technology of NK cells, and HER2 target antibody technology.
“GC Labcell is steadily gaining the unique technology needed to develop next-generation immune cell therapy products,” said Hwang Yu-kyung, director of GC LabCell’s cell therapy research center. “We will continue to work to expand influence in the global market."