Arrowhead Research, a clinical stage targeted therapeutics company based in Pasadena, Calif., has entered into an agreement with global healthcare company Merck, through a subsidiary, to undertake an evaluation of a novel proprietary therapeutic monoclonal antibody candidate derived from Arrowhead’s human-derived peptide targeting and discovery program.
Arrowhead acquired the program through its purchase of Alvos Therapeutics in April 2012. Merck will bear the costs involved in evaluating the candidate.
“We are excited to be working with Merck as they evaluate this antibody candidate,” said Dr. Chris Anzalone, president and CEO of Arrowhead. “We believe that our human-derived library of targeting peptides and novel receptors is the world’s largest and can be used with many classes of drugs across multiple indications to enhance efficacy and decrease side effects.”
Arrowhead’s target discovery and delivery platform consists of a large library of unique human-derived peptide sequences selected for their ability to bind cell surface targets and rapidly internalize within cells of more than 30 distinct tissues and multiple tumor types. The discovery process, which involves screening directly in human patients under strict ethical guidelines, has identified novel receptor targets as well as novel binding sites for validated targets. Additional antibody and peptide-based targeting programs for oncology and other therapeutic areas are currently being identified and assessed for internal development or partnering.