JUN 04, 2014 12:00 AM PDT

Bayer-arGen-X Collaboration Aims at Addressing Complex Targets with Antibodies

WRITTEN BY: Ilene Schneider
A collaboration between Netherlands-based arGEN-X -- a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating and developing differentiated therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and severe autoimmune diseases - and Bayer Pharma AG (Bayer) -- the pharmaceutical division of Bayer HealthCare AG, which markets products in more than 100 countries - leverages arGEN-X's SIMPLE Antibody™ technology for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies. The collaboration centers on a novel approach to addressing complex targets across multiple therapeutic areas that are often difficult with existing antibody platforms.

"We are delighted that Bayer, with its long-standing expertise in drug development, will make use of the SIMPLE Antibody™ platform," said Tim Van Hauwermeiren, chief executive Officer of arGEN-X. "As a company, we are dedicated to forming elite partnerships and feel that with this new collaboration, we have firmly established SIMPLE Antibody™ as an innovative solution to reaching intractable targets and tackling unmet needs in antibody discovery,"

Van Hauwermeiren added, "We are confident that by building on our proprietary capabilities in DNA immunization and the unique immune system of the llama, we have developed a novel platform that will create potential new product opportunities."

"We look forward to collaborating with arGEN-X and exploring the potential of SIMPLE Antibody™ technology to complement Bayer‘s efforts in the discovery and development of first-in-class therapeutic antibodies," said Dr. Harald Dinter, Head of Global Biologics at Bayer Pharma AG.

With this collaboration, arGEN-X will apply its SIMPLE Antibody™ technology to multiple targets submitted by Bayer. The parties will work together to validate human antibody leads in disease-relevant models, with Bayer being responsible for further preclinical and clinical development and commercialization of therapeutic antibody products. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will pay arGEN-X an upfront technology access fee, research support and technical success-based milestones. Bayer will also pay clinical, regulatory and product sales-based milestones as antibody programs progress through clinical development and registration.

A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating and developing differentiated therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and severe autoimmune diseases. arGEN-X has generated a clinical pipeline of differentiated antibody candidates using its SIMPLE Antibody™ discovery platform. According to the company, SIMPLE Antibody™ has a particular strength in addressing novel, complex disease targets that are difficult to access using established antibody technology platforms.

Fc engineering technologies - NHance®, ABDEG™ and POTELLIGENT® - further enhance the therapeutic properties of SIMPLE Antibody™ leads in terms of their residence time in the body, their ability to clear disease targets or pathogenic antibodies and their cell killing potency through Antibody-Dependent Cell-mediated Cytotoxicity (ADCC), respectively. arGEN-X has leveraged its suite of antibody technologies in forging strategic collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to provide new approaches to diseases with unmet medical needs.

SIMPLE Antibody™ technology is based upon the immune system of llamas. It exploits their conventional antibody repertoire, completely distinct from their ‘heavy chain only' antibody repertoire.

The variable (V) regions of conventional llama antibodies are naturally encoded by the complete repertoire of V genes found in humans - unlike transgenic mice. While proteins of therapeutic interest are often conserved between human and rodent, they are highly divergent between human and llama. This makes llamas able to mount high affinity antibody responses - often human/mouse cross-reactive - against any therapeutic target.
About the Author
Ilene Schneider is the owner of Schneider the Writer, a firm that provides communications for health care, high technology and service enterprises. Her specialties include public relations, media relations, advertising, journalistic writing, editing, grant writing and corporate creativity consulting services. Prior to starting her own business in 1985, Ilene was editor of the Cleveland edition of TV Guide, associate editor of School Product News (Penton Publishing) and senior public relations representative at Beckman Instruments, Inc. She was profiled in a book, How to Open and Operate a Home-Based Writing Business and listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Advertising and Who's Who in Media and Communications. She was the recipient of the Women in Communications, Inc. Clarion Award in advertising. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ilene and her family have lived in Irvine, California, since 1978.
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