Argenx announces collaboration with Broteio Pharma to develop therapeutic antibody for severe autoimmune diseases
21 March 2017, Breda, the Netherlands/Ghent, Belgium – argenx (Euronext Brussels: ARGX) today announced that it has entered into a new collaboration with Broteio Pharma B.V. to develop an antibody against a novel target in the complement cascade with therapeutic potential in autoantibody- and complement-mediated indications including autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) and antibody mediated rejection (AMR) following organ transplantation.
“This collaboration represents the latest success for our Innovative Access Program and aligns with our corporate mission to develop differentiated antibodies for cancer and severe autoimmune diseases. The novel antibody targets a component of the complement cascade with therapeutic potential in both orphan and large market indications like Ischemia/Reperfusion Injuries (IRI),” comments Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of argenx. “This new therapeutic antibody has the potential to act alongside our lead product candidate ARGX-113 in a synergistic fashion. ARGX-113 targets FcRn in order to clear pathogenic IgG antibodies while our new complement-targeted antibody can also address IgM mediated autoimmune diseases. This transaction positions us to further build out the depth and breadth of our autoimmune disease pipeline.”
Under the terms of the agreement, argenx and Broteio will jointly develop the complement-targeted antibody to establish preclinical proof-of-concept using argenx’s proprietary suite of technologies. Upon successful completion of these studies, argenx may exercise an exclusive option to license the program and assume responsibility for further development and commercialization.
About the Innovative Access Program
Through our Innovative Access Program (IAP) argenx is able to serially collaborate closely with academic experts and small biotech companies, bringing antibody discovery technologies to the heart of novel target research. The IAP allows our partners use of our technologies for the development of antibodies to help validate novel targets. In return argenx is granted early access to these targets. The diversity of argenx’s SIMPLE AntibodyTM immune repertoires help streamline target validation, with the potential to transform novel proteins into next generation therapeutic antibody programs.
Role of complement in auto-immune diseases
The classical pathway of the complement system is composed of a series of proteins that are activated when IgG or IgM (auto)antibodies bind to their targets. This mechanism contributes to tissue damage and organ dysfunction in a number of (auto)immune inflammatory diseases. The novel complement target is key in the lysis of antibody-decorated cells and is active when an immune reaction is taking place. The novel antibody has therapeutic potential in orphan and large population autoimmune indications including autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) and antibody mediated rejection (AMR).
Based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Broteio Pharma B.V. (“Broteio”) is a joint venture between Prothix B.V. and Bioceros Holding B.V. established to develop anti-complement monoclonal antibodies.