Alligator Bioscience has signed a research collaboration agreement with Professor Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) and Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Spain, to further investigate the biology of 4-1BB (CD137) as a target in cancer immunotherapy.
Alligator has two pipeline programs targeting 4-1BB, the fully owned monospecific antibody ATOR-1017, and the bispecific antibody ALG.APV-527, co-developed with Aptevo therapeutics.
Under the collaboration agreement, the team led by Professor Melero primarily will investigate the biological effects of 4-1BB activation in various pre-clinical cancer immunotherapy models. Professor Melero has acted as a scientific advisor and collaboration partner for Alligator since 2014. Professor Melero, principal investigator at the Immunology and Immunotherapy Program of CIMA and codirector of the Immunology Department of Clínica Universidad de Navarra, has contributed extensively to the understanding of the anti-tumor properties of 4-1BB antibodies in cancer. His landmark studies have opened the field of 4-1BB-targeted immunotherapy, and this is now generally considered to be one of the most promising approaches within immuno-oncology.
4-1BB belongs to the so-called TNF receptor superfamily and plays a critical role in immune responses and immunological memory to cancer. CIMA is the University of Navarra’s biomedical research institute. Its mission is to carry out translational research to a high standard of excellence, based on novel biological knowledge and aimed at finding therapeutic solutions to unsolved medical’s needs.
“We are very fortunate to have Professor Melero as a research collaborator”, said Per Norlén, CEO of Alligator Bioscience. “He is a world leading expert in the field of 4-1BB and immuno-therapy and his scientific guidance will be extremely valuable both for our pipeline projects, and to help fulfill our ambition to deliver first and best-in-class products to patients.”