NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, today announced the Company has signed a license agreement with the University of Toronto for novel anti-KIT receptor tyrosine kinase antibodies identified in the laboratories of Dr. Sachdev Sidhu at the University of Toronto and the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Schlessinger of Yale University. Dr. Sidhu is a member of the faculty of Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, and current director of the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC) at the University of Toronto, as well as a member of the Kolltan Scientific Advisory Board. Terms of the license were not disclosed. The license coincided with an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that reveals novel insights into the structural biology of the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase.
Joseph Schlessinger, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Yale University and Kolltan Scientific Founder, commented, “The collaborations between my laboratory and those of Dr. Sidhu and Kolltan exemplify our combined commitment to discover novel ways to modulate KIT and other receptor tyrosine kinases.”
The PNAS article, titled, “Structural basis for KIT receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition by antibodies targeting the D4 membrane-proximal region,” was co-authored by Dr. Schlessinger and Dr. Sidhu and scientists in their respective institutions, in addition to scientists at Kolltan. The article reported antibody inhibition of cell proliferation mediated by both wild-type and mutant KIT receptors. One of the blocking antibodies demonstrated binding to the KIT receptor at a membrane-proximal site previously described by Dr. Schlessinger to be important for protein interactions leading to KIT activation.
“The scientific results revealed in our recent publication and covered through our license with the University of Toronto will aid our effort to develop robust KIT-blocking antibodies,” commented Dr. Yaron Hadari, Vice President of Research at Kolltan. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to discover therapeutic strategies to target cells driven by or expressing KIT that are associated with human malignancies and other diseases.”
About Kolltan Pharmaceuticals
Kolltan, a privately held company, is advancing a new generation of therapeutics in oncology and other diseases by creating novel biologic agents that can modulate the function of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Kolltan has a unique understanding of RTKs, their ligands, and cellular signaling and has assembled a team with significant expertise and unique insight into these drug targets. Kolltan’s senior management has a track record of success in bringing products to patients and significant value to shareholders. Located adjacent to the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, Kolltan is advancing a new generation of therapeutics in oncology and other diseases, in collaboration with the laboratory of Kolltan founder, Dr. Joseph Schlessinger. The Company’s breakthrough R&D pipeline is advancing rapidly, with the first clinical trial program anticipated to begin in the first half of 2014.
For more information about Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, please visit www.kolltan.com.