Developed by Professor David A. Spiegel, Ph.D., M.D. and his team at Yale University, the proprietary synthetic molecules, known as Antibody Recruiting Molecules (ARMs), work by harnessing the power of the body’s own immune system to treat cancer. The ARMs do this by recruiting antibodies already present in the bloodstream and then leading these antibodies to a specific protein found on the surface of cancer cells. From there, the antibodies perform their natural immune function of destroying the diseased cells.
Traditional antibody therapeutics, due to their molecular size and structure, often must be administered intravenously. They are costly to manufacture and may elicit undesirable immune reactions that in some patients reduces their efficacy. The ARMs developed at Yale offer the promise of less expensive manufacturing and reduced potential for such unwanted immune reactions.
“We are very excited to begin working with ABLS,” said Dr. Spiegel. “Our work is at a critical point in its translation, where the resources and expertise of the ABLS team will make all the difference in bringing these therapies to patients as quickly as we can, something that my lab and I are deeply committed to do.”
Dr. Spiegel holds faculty appointments in Yale’s Department of Chemistry as well as its Department of Pharmacology at the Yale School of Medicine. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the American Chemical Society Medical Chemistry Young Investigator Award, Bristol-Myers Squibb Innovation Award, Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry, and the National Institute of Health’s New Innovator Award. He is the author of more than 30 scientific articles, and his work has been featured by leading media outlets, including the New York Times, Popular Science, and Scientific American.
“Dr. Spiegel’s ARM approach presents a differentiated solution that has strong potential to develop next-generation oncology drugs with improved safety and efficacy,” said Satish Jindal, Chief Executive Officer of ABLS. “We are eager to work with David and Yale on this program. This innovative university technology and associated lead molecules are at the ideal stage that we are seeking, where we can bring to bear the drug discovery and development expertise of ABLS and its partners to accelerate therapies to the clinic.”
The licensing agreement with Yale is the second in a series of discovery and development projects that Allied-Bristol Life Sciences intends to pursue. The license to the technology from Dr. Spiegel’s lab will be held by a new ABLS subsidiary that was specifically formed to complete further research and pre-clinical characterization of a specific set of molecules based on the technology so that a clinical candidate can be advanced.