21 August 2014
Antitope Limited (Antitope), an Abzena (AIM: ABZA) company that provides services and technologies to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals, and University College London (UCL), one of the world’s leading universities, are pleased to announce that they will collaborate to humanize an anti-LRG1 antibody as part of a MRC-funded translational research and product development programme being undertaken by the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
The collaboration is supported by UCL Business PLC (UCLB), UCL’s wholly owned technology transfer company, which provided initial Proof of Concept funding and holds the patents to the LRG1 technologies.
LRG1 (leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein 1) was identified by researchers at UCL to promote the growth of blood vessels (a process known as ‘angiogenesis’). Angiogenesis is an important factor in the progression of cancer and angiogenesis inhibitors have been used successfully to treat a wide range of ophthalmic diseases.
Antitope will produce a range of fully humanized antibodies using its Composite Human Antibody™ technology that are designed to bind to and inhibit the function of LRG1. UCL will select a lead antibody for further evaluation as a potential therapeutic product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). UCLB is continuing to support development of this technology and is currently seeking commercial partners to take it to market. No commercial terms are disclosed.
Professor Stephen Moss, Ashton Professor of Biomedical Research and Vice-Dean Enterprise, commented: “LRG1 is a highly promising target for controlling pathogenic angiogenesis, and we are excited to be working with Antitope to develop an anti-LRG1 antibody as a potential therapeutic agent.”
Matt Baker, Abzena’s Chief Scientific Officer, added: “The use of antagonists of LRG1 to inhibit angiogenesis is an interesting area of research that could lead to the treatment of a number of different angiogenesis-driven diseases such as AMD and some cancers. We are delighted to be supporting UCL in the development of a fully human anti-LRG1 antibody.”
Antitope is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abzena plc, a group focused on providing proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.
Antitope provides immunogenicity assessment, protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins, and cell line development for manufacture. The Company provides its services and technologies to an international client base that includes most of the world’s leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Abzena provides proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.
Abzena comprises two wholly owned subsidiary businesses – PolyTherics and Antitope – which have established a broad suite of complementary technologies that are designed to improve the chances of successful development of antibodies and proteins with enhanced therapeutic benefits.
Abzena is listed on the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol ABZA.
UCL Business PLC (UCLB) is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. UCLB has a strong track record in commercialising medical technologies and provides technology transfer services to UCL’s associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.