Spinout News

Two partners enter clinical development with biopharmaceuticals enabled by Abzena’s technology

9 April 2015

Abzena plc (AIM:ABZA), a spinout life sciences company from UCL School of Pharmacy, which provides services and technologies that enable the development of biopharmaceutical products, provides the following update from its two subsidiary businesses, Antitope and PolyTherics.

Since the last update announced on 9 February, two further antibodies that were developed using Antitope’s Composite Human Antibody™ technology have entered clinical development, bringing the number of antibodies currently in the clinic to eight. The latest antibodies to reach clinical development include one being developed by an undisclosed US major pharma partner for neurodegenerative conditions and TBI 304H, being developed by Therapure Innovations, a division of Therapure Biopharma Inc., for chemotherapy-induced anaemia. In addition to these Composite Human Antibodies™ entering clinical development, Gilead Sciences, Inc. plans to initiate a Phase II trial with GS-5745 for the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease.

Antitope has recently completed a Composite Human Antibody™ programme for University College London, supported by UCL Business PLC, announced in August 2014, for the generation of a fully humanized antibody to be developed as a potential treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Two further agreements have recently been signed for Composite Human Antibody™ programmes with a US biotech company. Abzena could potentially receive milestone and/or royalty payments as products derived from its Composite Human Antibodies™ platform are progressed through clinical development and are commercialised.

PolyTherics has made good progress with the development of its ThioBridge™ technology for attaching cytotoxic drugs to antibodies to create antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer. Abzena has increased the number of collaborations it has with companies evaluating ThioBridge™ and is working with a range of different cytotoxic payloads for its partners.

Data from preclinical models of cancer, presented at the World ADC Summit (Frankfurt, February 2015), showed that ThioBridge™ ADCs produced a greater reduction in tumour size compared to the marketed ADC products, Adcetris® and Kadcyla®. Abzena has also demonstrated in vivo activity for ThioBridge™ ADCs with novel payloads arising from the Group’s R&D investment.

John Burt, Abzena CEO, commented: “Abzena’s investment in the ThioBridge™ technology continues to build the positioning of its offering to enable the development of a new generation of better ADC products. Our business model combines the delivery of research collaboration programmes for our partners that translate into products that they can carry forward into development. In this regard, I am delighted that we can report that the seventh and eighth products from the Composite Human Antibody™ platform are now entering clinical studies.”

Adcetris® is registered trademark of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kadcyla® is a registered trademark of F. Hoffman-La Roche AG.

For more information, please contact:
John Burt (Chief Executive Officer)
Julian Smith (Chief Financial Officer)
Abzena plc
Tel: +44 (0)1223 903498
Email: john.burt@abzena.com or julian.smith@abzena.com


About Abzena
Abzena provides proprietary technologies and complementary services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals. The Group comprises PolyTherics and Antitope which have established a broad suite of services and technologies that are designed to improve the chances of successful development of antibodies and proteins with enhanced therapeutic benefits.

Antitope provides immunogenicity assessment, protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins, and cell line development for manufacture.

PolyTherics specializes in proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies for antibody drug conjugate development and solutions for optimization of the therapeutic properties of biopharmaceuticals.

The Group has built a global customer base over the past decade which includes the majority of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies, many large and small biotech companies, and academic groups.

Abzena is quoted on the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol ABZA.


UCL School of Pharmacy
The UCL School of Pharmacy is one of the most highly rated pharmacy schools in the UK and has a long tradition of academic and research excellence. Founded by the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1842 it has successfully evolved to meet the changing demands of the education and pharmacy sectors for 170 years, most recently merging into University College London, one of the UK’s highest ranking institutions. Although drawing extensively upon its heritage and tradition the School continues to embrace change and develop has been a key factor in its longevity and success.

Industry partnership, through consultancy and collaborative research, has long been a strong component of the School’s research effort. Additionally, School researchers have founded a number successful spin-out companies such as Polytherics as a means to progress clinical development of its world class research to the benefit of patients and society.


About UCL Business PLC
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. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.  UCLB supports UCL’s Grand Challenges of increasing UCL’s positive impact on and contribution to Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

For further information, please visit www.uclb.com or follow us on Twitter @UCL_Business