PDC Platform - a unique technology platform
We are exploring innovative drug candidates and treatments for difficult to treat hematological diseases. The proprietary peptide drug conjugate platform, PDC, enables us to build a robust, flexible drug candidate pipeline.
The PDC platform allows us to concentrate toxins in cancer cells by exploiting differences between cancer cells and healthy cells. We can deliver more and different types of cytotoxic activity to cancer cells while protecting healthy cells. This is known as “signal to noise”. This means that we get more signal – toxin – into cells to damage or kill tumors, while minimizing noise – harm – to healthy cells.
Melflufen – the first product from the PDC Platform
Melflufen is the first anti-cancer PDC that targets aminopeptidases and rapidly releases alkylating agents inside tumor cells. Aminopeptidases are a group of enzymes overexpressed in tumor cells, including multiple myeloma cells. The binding of melflufen to aminopeptidases results in the release of a toxic payload that damages DNA and kills cancer cells.
OPD5 and OPDC3 – the next generation PDC’s
OPD5 is the second drug candidate based on our proprietary Peptide Drug Conjugate (PDC) platform. It is an analog of melflufen with close to identical chemical characteristics. We expect a similar clinical profile and consequently, a clear clinical development pathway.
OPD5 was initially developed as a myeloablative regimen followed by Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma. We initiated a clinical study in Q2 2021. Shortly thereafter the agency requested a full clinical hold before any patients were recruited, based on overall survival data in the ITT-population, with a HR of 1.104 favoring pomalidomide. We have decided to discontinue the OPD5 study and will consider how to proceed after an interaction with the FDA.
OPDC3 is the most advanced asset of a new generation of compounds based on the PDC platform, and the third drug candidate coming out of the platform. OPDC3 has just completed toxicology studies.
Like melflufen, OPDC3 is built on a peptide scaffold and consists of a tumor cell delivering carrier and a warhead. With OPDC3 we have managed to design an even selective compound where only a limited toxicity is escaping the targeted cancer cell after enzymatic hydrolysis. We have observed a rapid enrichment of the alkylating warhead in cancer cell lines and anticipate that OPDC3 will show limited toxicity to normal slowly dividing cells of healthy tissue. The hypothesis is that the unique properties of OPDC3 will translate into a potentially effective and well tolerated therapeutic option. This will be further evaluated in clinical studies.