HEIDELBERG, Germany (November 8, 2004) – Affimed Therapeutics AG,a drug development company based here, and the biopharmaceutical unit of Syngenta AG of Basel, Switzerland signed a partnership agreement to codevelop one of Affimed’s proprietary Tandab antibodies, the companies announced Friday.
Tandabs recruit the body’s immune system to fight cancer and other diseases, Affimed said. The molecules were engineered to have four binding sites (tetravalent), two for antigens on the cancer or diseased cell and two specifically for immune system “killer cells.”
Tetravalency facilitates a very tight binding between the tumor and killer cells, Affimed said, enabling destruction of tumor cells.
Both companies said they believe the technology holds “tremendous potential” for creating more effective next-generation treatments. The parties said they plan to use Affimed’s technology platform to identify and develop Tandabs for cancer and other indications.
The activities are supported in part by a BioChance Plus grant in the amount of 1 million Euros recently awarded to Affimed by the German government.
Affimed is a venture-stage, privately held company founded in May 2000 through a spin off from the German National Cancer Research Center.
Syngenta is an agribusiness involved in sustainable agriculture through research and technology. Sales in 2003 were approximately $6.6 billion. Syngenta employs some 19,000 people in more than 90 countries. Syngenta has set up a dedicated biopharma unit for the development of biopharmaceuticals.