Glycotope announces licensing agreement with ONK Therapeutics for humanized GlycoBody targeting TA-MUC1

GlycoBody to be integrated into ONK pre-clinical program ONKT103, for solid tumors.


Glycotope GmbH, an oncology/immuno-oncology platform company built on world-leading glycobiology expertise, today announces that is has signed an agreement to license a humanized, tumor-specific antibody (GlycoBody) targeting an aberrantly glycosylated tumor associated form of MUC1 (TA-MUC1) to ONK Therapeutics Ltd. (ONK), an innovative natural killer (NK) cell therapy company.

The GlycoBody will be integrated into ONKs pre-clinical program ONKT103, for solid tumors. ONK’s unique platform approach combines the expression of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and a high affinity, membrane-bound TNF related apoptosis inducing ligand variant (TRAILv).

Multiple solid tumor types express the mucin MUC1, including non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. MUC1 is also expressed on healthy tissues and previous attempts to target this antigen have proved problematic. By utilizing Glycotope’s antibody, ONK can tailor its CAR to target the glycosylation pattern distinct to tumor associated MUC1 (TA-MUC1) with specific recognition of the carbohydrate antigens Tn and T on MUC1. The expression of these antigens is restricted to cancer cells and by targeting them ONK hopes to increase tumor-specificity and reduce the potential for on-target off-tumor toxicity.

Henner Kollenberg, Managing Director of Glycotope GmbH commented “This is an exciting development. Our technology platform has identified the glycosylation pattern that could enable ONK to unlock the potential of TA-MUC1 as a solid tumor target with their unique dual-targeted NK cell therapy approach. This represents further validation of our platform’s ability to enable the development of highly-specific immunotherapies across a broad range of cancer indications.”

Contact Information:
Glycotope GmbH
Henner Kollenberg
Managing Director Phone: +49 30 9489 2600

Media Contact:
Chris Gardner, Chris Welsh
Consilium Strategic Communications
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3709 5700

About Glycotope

Glycotope is a biotechnology company utilizing a proprietary technology platform to develop highly tumor-specific monoclonal antibodies called GlycoBodies. GlycoBodies bind to targets (GlycoTargets) tumor-specific carbohydrate structure dependent, enabling the development of highly-specific immunotherapies across a broad range of cancer indications. Glycotope has to date discovered in excess of 150 GlycoTargets with GlycoBodies against eight of these targets currently under development.

Each GlycoBody can be developed in an array of modalities with different modes of action such as Antibody-drug conjugates, CAR/cell therapies or bispecifics, providing a unique offering in the (immuno) oncology space. Currently six clinical and pre-clinical programs based on the GlycoBody technology are under development by Glycotope or its licensing partners. Visit

About ONK Therapeutics –

ONK Therapeutics Ltd is an innovative cell therapy company dedicated to developing the next generation of ‘off-the-shelf’, dual-targeted NK cell therapies targeting solid and hematological cancers.

Its core proprietary platform is based on a dual-targeted NK cell expressing both a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting a known tumor antigen and a TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand variant (TRAILv) targeting the death receptor pathway (i.e. DR4 or DR5). This unique approach has the potential to enhance efficacy by addressing both intrinsic (e.g. CAR engagement of a tumor-specific antigen) and extrinsic (e.g. signaling through the death receptor pathway) apoptotic pathways and to reduce the susceptibility to possible target antigen escape through the engagement of tumor antigen-independent TRAILv.

ONK Therapeutics is headquartered in the med-tech hub of Galway, Ireland, with a wholly-owned US subsidiary, ONK Therapeutics, Inc. based at JLabs @ San Diego. Shareholders include Acorn Bioventures, ALSHC (principally Seamus Mulligan), and Enterprise Ireland.