Cizzle Biotechnology Holdings plc (LON:CIZ), the UK based diagnostics developer, has today announced it has executed a research and development agreement to develop a companion diagnostic test for autoimmune disease with St George Street Capital (“SGSC”), the UK-based biomedical charity. The new diagnostic platform will be used to develop tests that will operate alongside SGSC’s programme for the development of therapeutic assets licensed to SGSC from one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Astra Zeneca. This seeks to address unmet clinical needs in a wide variety of autoimmune diseases which will significantly broaden the Company’s product pipeline and for which SGSC will pay Cizzle Biotechnology up to £1 million in development fees.
As announced on 20 September 2021, the company signed an agreement with SGSC to grant Cizzle Biotechnology potential future royalty payments from the commercialisation of St George Street’s therapeutic asset AZD1656 of up to £5 million. This followed SGSC’s announcement on 9 September 2021 of encouraging clinical trial results arising from their existing collaboration with AstraZeneca and funded by international investment through Excalibur Medicines Ltd and an HM Government grant through the UKRI/Innovate UK programme.
This new commercial contract with SGSC will seek to provide valuable diagnostic information on patients based on the proposed mechanism of action of AZD1656 which may be linked to the regulation of inflammation through activating migration of T regulatory cells to sites of damaging inflammation. Migration of T regulatory cells amplify the body’s own mechanism of damping down an inappropriate inflammatory overreaction and hence may have important clinical benefits in managing autoimmune disease.
Under the commercial contract entered into, the parties will collaborate closely in the design and development of the test and in consideration SGSC will pay Cizzle Biotechnology £200,000 upfront on commencement of the project and then further milestone payments totalling up to £1 million. A further announcement will be made when the project commences.
Commenting, Allan Syms, Executive Chairman of Cizzle Biotechnology Holdings, said: “We announced on 20 September following SGSC’s successful ARCADIA clinical trial, a royalty agreement related to AZD1656. We are now also delighted to sign a new R&D agreement with SGSC to develop a companion diagnostic which has fees payable to Cizzle Biotechnology of up to £1 million. This will strengthen the two parties’ close relationship through the development of a companion diagnostic test for the use of their therapeutic asset that is aimed at addressing unmet needs in the area of autoimmune disease. A potential pipeline of new diagnostic tests for SGSC will significantly broaden Cizzle Biotechnology’s product portfolio as we continue to develop our simple blood test for the early detection of lung cancer based on the C1Z1B biomarker.”
Commenting, Professor John Martin of UCL, Chairman of SGSC, said: “We announced last month the encouraging clinical trial results of our new treatment for COVID-19 and completed our formal royalty sharing agreement with Cizzle Biotechnology. Today we are pleased to extend that relationship through the signing of a new agreement to collaborate in the development of a companion diagnostic for use with our therapeutic asset AZD 1656 for autoimmune disease. We continue to be impressed with the progress of this long-term relationship with Cizzle Biotechnology, which combines unique skills, experience and capabilities from each party to build complimentary diagnostic and therapeutic products of important clinical utility.”