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Glenmark Makes Its Second Breakthrough In Cancer Drug Discovery

It’s the second such anti-cancer drug lead discovered by the Mumbai-based Indian drug maker based on its proprietary BEAT platform

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Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it has successfully initiated the discovery and an investigational new drug-enabling studies for a novel anti-cancer biological molecule - GBR 1342.

It’s the second such anti-cancer drug lead discovered by the Mumbai-based Indian drug maker based on its proprietary BEAT (Bi-specific Engagement by Antibodies based on the T cell receptor) platform. Glenmark had come out with another discovery lead (GBR 1302) in its biological drug research initiative to fight cancer in August 2014 and this lead drug candidate is currently in the clinical development phase.

"GBR 1342 is the second bi-specific antibody emerging from our BEAT platform. With the 1302 project we learned how to efficiently engineer and manufacture this novel type of antibody and we are now applying those lessons to several other targets,” said Michael Buschle, chief scientific officer and president - Biologics at Glenmark.

The new investigational drug - GBR 1342 targets cytotoxic T cells that cause multiple myeloma, a cancer caused by malignant plasma cells.

Glenmark is committed to moving GBR 1342 rapidly into clinical trials, Glenmark said in a statement.

BEAT is Glenmark’s technology for production of bi-specific antibodies. For the past 20 years, bi-specific antibodies have been a challenge to the industry since most bi-specific formats developed thus far have stability and/or manufacturing issues. With the invention of the BEAT technology Glenmark’s scientists have now overcome these hurdles and are able to efficiently engineer and manufacture bi-specific antibodies.

Glenmark’s novel biologics entity pipeline currently has three monoclonal antibodies in the undergoing active clinical development, which includes GBR 830 (a best in class antagonist for autoimmune diseases which is currently in Phase II clinical development for atopic dermatitis), GBR 900 for chronic pain, which is currently in clinical Phase I under license from Italian drug researcher Lay Line Genomics S.p.A., and GBR 1302, the first clinical candidate based on BEAT platform. GBR 1302 is Glenmark’s first clinical candidate targeting oncology indications.

Glenmark shares, which shot up to the day’s high of Rs 882 a unit in the morning trade, settled at Rs 864.10, 0.25 per cent down from the previous day’s close at 1.30 pm. While, the benchmark BSE Sensex was up 0.49 per cent at 24972.71 points.

Glenmark, which does its biological discovery research projects through its foreign research subsidiary in Europe --Glenmark Pharmaceuticals SA, is currently ranked among the top 80 pharma and biotech companies in the world in terms of revenues.

It is also active player in the discovery of new molecules both new chemical entity and new biological entity, with several molecules in various stages of clinical development and is primarily focused in the areas of oncology, inflammation and pain.

As a drug maker, the Glenn Saldanha-led company has a significant presence in branded generics markets across emerging economies including India and has 16 manufacturing facilities in five countries and has six research centers.