Catalent has increased its stake in Redwood Biosciences telling us it is committed to the development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and the SMARTag technology platform.
In April 2013, Catalent became the latest contract and development manufacturing organisation (CDMO) to invest in ADCs, acquiring the license to market Redwood’s SMARTag platform as well as a minority stake in the company.
During an exclusive interview at Interphex New York last week, Aileen Ruff - Global Strategic Marketing Director, Biologics and Sterile Technologies at Catalent – told Biopharma-Reporter.com the firm was pleased with the collaboration and platform, and would be extending them further.
“For better treatments the right technology can really go a long way and we’re really seeing great results in the data so far with our SMARTag ADC technology,” she said. “We’re really proud with our partnership with Redwood, and the site specific, programmable, ADC conjugation technology that allows for more efficacious ADCs.”
She continued: “The scientific data to date is very, very, compelling in terms of performance and efficacy, and in fact we are going to be increasing our stake in Redwood Bioscience as a result… really showing our commitment to the space and the technology.”
Platform and Customer Base
Ruff did not expand on how much of the California-based company Catalent would now own but did talk to us about how the platform differed from the other options on the market and where demand for Catalent’s biologics services were coming from.
“Within ADCs specifically, the site specificity and the programmable nature of the SMARTag technology is unique, we also have our GPEx cell line development technology and those two work together, so we can actually produce ‘SMARTagged’ antibodies using our GPEx technology.”
This offers “stability, expression level and shortened timeline benefits,” she continued, “so the two combined are really a unique offering to the space.”
Furthermore, whilst Catalent’s clients are generally the smaller biotech firms for its biomanufacturing and cell line development services, Ruff said the SMARTag technology “has relevance and application across a much broader customer base.”
“We are engaging with the larger pharmas as well, and really across the spectrum of all of our offerings, we can provide a solution to all of our customers from the small biotechs to the biggest pharma.”