Anaeropharma Science Signs Collaborative Research Agreement with Astellas on Creation of Novel Anti-Tumor Drugs Using Bifidobacterium

Anaeropharma Science Inc. headquartered in Tokyo ( hereafter “Anaeropharma”) announced on September 25 that Anaeropharma and Astellas Pharma Inc. headquartered in Tokyo ( hereafter “Astellas”) have concluded a collaborative research agreement concerning the creation of novel anti-tumor drugs that utilizes characteristic features of Bifidobacterium longum through Anaeropharma’s proprietary platform technology, in situ Delivery and Production System ( “i-DPS”). An overview of the contract follows.

1. A collaborative research agreement concerning the creation of novel anti-tumor drugs that utilizes i-DPS technology

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies shall conduct joint research regarding specific substances in order to create drug candidates for cancer therapy that utilizes Bifidobacterium as a drug delivery carrier. Astellas shall acquire the right of first negotiation regarding the exclusive licensing necessary for commercialization based on the results of this joint research. The agreement shall not constrain any research and development activities of i-DPS conducted by Anaeropharma applying to any molecules other than the above-mentioned specific substances.

2. About i-DPS and its Development Programs

Bifidobacterium is obligatory anaerobe which exists as enteroflora in the human body, and known as nonpathogenic bacteria. Solid cancers have immature vascular constructs and their interstitial tumors are in the state of hypoxia. The company aims to leverage the recombinant Bifidobacterium technology named i-DPS to create a new class of anti-cancer drugs. The technology offers broad potential to be more effective to solid tumors and generates anti-tumor drugs with less risks of adverse events than conventional anti-cancer drugs.

The leading development product using i-DPS technology, APS001F, a recombinant Bifidobacterium to express Cytosine Deaminase which converts a prodrug, 5-FC, to an anti-cancer drug, 5-FU, is under a phase 1 clinical trial in the U.S.

3. About Anaeropharma Science, Inc.

A privately held biopharmaceutical company based in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Anaeropharma Science was established to pioneer the development of novel therapeutics to target a hypoxic environment in solid cancers based on its proprietary platform technology, i-DPS, using recombinant Bifidobacterium. The company’s laboratory is located in the campus of Shinshu University in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. Its CEO is Tetsuya Mishima.

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