MediLink Therapeutics has signed a global partnership and licence deal with Roche to develop a next-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), YL211, for solid tumours.

Roche will gain sole international rights to develop, produce and market the MediLink asset YL211.

MediLink is eligible to receive upfront and near-term milestone payments of $50m.

Roche will also make further payments of $1bn on meeting development, regulatory and commercial milestones, apart from royalty payments on future net product sales.

YL211 is a c-Mesenchymal epithelial transition factor (c-Met)-directed ADC.

It leverages the Tumour Microenvironment Activable LINker-payload (TMALIN) ADC technology platform technology of MediLink, as well as the c-Met antibody.

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By GlobalData

The asset is currently at the investigational new drug application stage and has shown promising preclinical efficacy and safety.

MediLink will collaborate with the China Innovation Center of Roche (CICoR), a research and development unit of the company, to commence a Phase I clinical trial analysing YL211.

Roche will subsequently carry out additional development and marketing of the product internationally.

MediLink’s TMALIN ADC platform creates homogeneous ADC and enhances the therapeutic window to treat solid tumours.

It provides benefits including increased stability and hydrophilicity, already established in tumour models.

Last month, Roche signed an agreement to acquire Carmot Therapeutics for $2.7bn. 

Carmot and its employees will become part of Roche’s pharmaceuticals segment.

The acquisition is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2024.

Carmot’s stakeholders are eligible to receive milestone payments of $400m on meeting specified goals.

Roche will also obtain access to Carnot’s current research and development portfolio of Carmot, including all assets in clinical and pre-clinical stages.