Arovella Therapeutics (ASX:ALA) - CEO and Managing Director, Dr Michael Baker
CEO and Managing Director, Dr Michael Baker
Source: Arovella Therapeutics
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  • Arovella Therapeutics (ALA) acquires a global exclusive licence agreement for the patent rights to a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) developed for cancer treatment
  • The agreement was signed with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre
  • The antibody is the first to be directed against a DKK1 peptide found in complex with HLA-A2 on the surface of cancer cells (DKK1)
  • The company says all licensing fees will be funded through existing cash reserves
  • Arovella is up 14.3 per cent, trading at 4 cents at market close

Arovella Therapeutics (ALA) has acquired a global exclusive licence agreement for the patent rights to a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) developed for cancer treatment.

The agreement was signed with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre.

The antibody is the first to be directed against a DKK1 peptide found in complex with HLA-A2 on the surface of cancer cells (DKK1).

DKK1 is a target found in many cancer types, including blood cancers and solid tumours. Higher levels of DKK1 in cancer patients may serve as a prognostic biomarker for cancers such as head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and lung squamous cell carcinoma.

Arovella’s CEO and MD, Dr Michael Baker, said the data returned for DKK1- CAR is compelling.

“We see a lot of promise in combining DKK1-CAR with our iNKT cell therapy platform and expect synergistic effects for the treatment of certain cancers,” said Dr Baker.

“The next steps are to confirm the specificity, safety and proof-of-concept data in animal models before advancing this into manufacturing.”

The company said more than a decade of work has gone into the production and testing of the DKK1 mAb.

“To target a range of cancers, we knew we needed to target something unique on the surface of different cancer types,” Professor Qing Yi, the developer of the technology, said.

“That is why we generated the DKK1-peptide targeting mAb and CAR, because the DKK1 peptide in complex with HLA-A2 is found on many cancers and as expected, we see robust data treating several cancer types.”

The company said all licensing fees will be funded through existing cash reserves.

Arovella was up 14.3 per cent, trading at 4 cents at market close.

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