London, UK, 12th September, 2005 – AERES Biomedical, Ltd. (London, UK) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Lpath Therapeutics Inc. (San Diego, USA) to humanize its Sphingomab™ antibody. Lpath will provide the murine antibody to AERES, which will use its proprietary humanization technology to provide a humanized Sphingomab™ clinical candidate. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“AERES has a proven technology for antibody humanization that has successfully been practised on 26 monoclonal antibodies over the past 17 years,” said Dr. Tarran Jones, chief executive officer of AERES Biomedical. “Eight of these humanized antibodies have progressed to the clinic and two, Elan/Biogen Idec’s Tysabri® and Chugai/Roche’s Actemra®, have gone on to achieve market approval. This outstanding track record of success undoubtedly helped Lpath in making the decision to work with AERES, and we are very pleased to be collaborating with Lpath’s scientists to humanize their Sphingomab™ monoclonal antibody.”
Scott Pancoast, Lpath’s chief executive officer, said, “Our Sphingomab™ murine monoclonal antibody has demonstrated compelling results in eight out of eight mouse studies against four different types of human cancer. Humanizing this antibody is a vital next step in moving the project into the clinic. Given the past successes of AERES Biomedical and given the strength of their science, we are excited to have forged this partnership, and we look forward to working with the AERES team.
Notes to Editors
CDR is a synonym for complementarity determining region.
The CDR-grafting strategy was first invented at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology by Dr. Greg Winter and patented by the MRC in the late 1980’s. This humanisation technology was originally developed to address the problem of the HAMA (Human Anti-Mouse Antibody) response, which had effectively prevented the therapeutic use of mouse monoclonal antibodies up to this time.
CDR-grafting, or humanisation, involves the genetic transfer of mouse CDRs – which are responsible for antigen binding – into human frameworks of a variable region. A variable region is one domain of a immunoglobulin chain, a whole antibody itself comprising of one light and one heavy immunoglobulin chain. An important aid to the process of humanisation is molecular modelling, which allows the 3-dimensional structure of the antibody to be carefully analysed and key murine framework residues important for antibody function to be identified for preservation in the humanised antibody.
AERES Biomedical Ltd. is a UK based biopharmaceutical research and development company created to:
– Enable the biopharmaceutical industry to exploit AERES expertise and skills in antibody humanization, engineering and expression.
– Identify, in-license and develop its own antibody-based therapeutic agents through to
proof of principle before securing commercial alliances with pharmaceutical companies for their further development.
– Develop and improve its in-house antibody-based proprietary technologies to generate new drug candidates against novel targets.