Bright Peak Therapeutics Inc. and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Enter into a Research Collaboration and License Agreement to Create Novel Immunocytokines


Bright Peak Therapeutics Inc. and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Enter into a Research Collaboration and License Agreement to Create Novel Immunocytokines

SAN DIEGO, March 25, 2021 and TOKYO March 26, 2021 – Bright Peak Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company developing next generation immunotherapies for cancer and autoimmune disease, and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (“Ajinomoto Co.”), a leading technology provider for biopharmaceuticals and the owner of Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services offering pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing services, today announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement to incorporate AJICAP®,  Ajinomoto Co.’s proprietary site-specific bioconjugation technology, for the development of Bright Peak Immunocytokines.

Bright Peak uses a novel ligation technology to chemically synthesize therapeutic cytokines by ligating together customized peptide segments. This proprietary platform provides unique flexibility to both tune and enhance cytokine biology through affinity modification and orthogonal, site-specific conjugation, respectively. AJICAP® is a proprietary site-specific bioconjugation technology compatible with commonly used antibody isotypes. One of the many advantages of AJICAP® technology is its “off-the-shelf” feature, allowing any therapeutic antibody at any stage of development to be conjugated to drug-payloads of choice without the need for antibody engineering or cell line development.  

As part of the collaboration and license agreement with Ajinomoto Co., the AJICAP® technology will be used to conjugate Bright Peak’s enhanced cytokines as payloads to certain antibodies, creating novel and proprietary Bright Peak Immunocytokines. These Immunocytokines will allow tissue- and cell-specific targeting of the cytokine payload with the added potential for synergistic efficacy through potency-enhancing avidity effects. As part of the agreement, Bright Peak will receive exclusive worldwide rights to use the AJICAP® technology for the conjugation of certain cytokine payloads, including but not limited to interleukin-2 (IL-2). The agreement is for the development of multi Immunocytokine molecules. Under the terms of the agreement, Bright Peak will make an exclusivity payment and Ajinomoto Co. is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on commercial sales.

“We are delighted to announce the collaboration with Ajinomoto develop our proprietary Immunocytokines using AJICAP® technology. It is a natural extension of Bright Peak’s chemical synthesis technology platform. The AJICAP® conjugation technology is ideally suited to conjugate our enhanced cytokines as payloads to antibodies in the cancer and autoimmune field” said Dr. Sef Kurstjens President and CEO of Bright Peak Therapeutics, Inc. 

Dr. Tatsuya Okuzumi, Associate General Manager, Research and Business Planning Department, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., added, “Ajinomoto Co. and Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services are very excited to collaborate with Bright Peak in the development of targeted Immunocytokines. The ability to direct potent, homogeneous immune-signaling molecules to tumors and the tumor microenvironment may provide enhanced antitumor clinical benefit through immune cell cytotoxic activity.   The combination of Bright Peak’s cytokine payloads with Ajinomoto Co.’s AJICAP® opens up a wide range of oncology applications and may be harnessed to provide a clinical benefit to patients.”

About Bright Peak Therapeutics – Bright Peak is a privately held biotechnology company based in San Diego, CA and Basel, Switzerland developing innovative cytokine therapeutics that are uniquely engineered to precisely tune and control desired biological properties. Using its proprietary Enhanced Design and Combine (EDC) chemistry platform, Bright Peak is developing an emerging portfolio of novel designer immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Bright Peak is also pioneering a new category of “Bright Peak Immunocytokines” that simultaneously leverages the precision of antibody targeting with cytokine-mediated selective immune modulation in the desired microenvironment.