(Page 2 of 2)
partnerships with Merck, Roche, Novartis, Celgene, Gilead Sciences, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and others to advance other antibody programs.
AnaptysBio considered proposals from a number of other companies, including some Big Pharmas, Suria says. The company chose Tesaro because of their development skills and their ability to move these assets from pre-clinical development through clinical studies and beyond, he says. Tesaro was founded on the idea of acquiring cancer drug candidates discovered by others and developing them in-house.
Even so, the competition to develop new antibody therapies that help the immune system fight cancer is already fierce. As Xconomy’s Ben Fidler has reported, Merck, Roche/Genentech, and Bristol-Myers Squibb are all working in the area, and Novartis recently acquired Cambridge, MA-based CoStim Pharmaceuticals and its catalog of “late discovery stage immunotherapy programs,” including one that targets PD-1.
So what will separate the cancer antibodies AnaptysBio is developing from the rest of the crowd? Suria cited a few key features:
—Suria says its somatic hypermutation platform “allows us to generate therapeutic antibodies against difficult targets (such as TIM-3), which is achieved by generating and screening unprecedented diversity in rapid, high-throughput manner.” In its statement, Tesaro says TIM-3 works as a pattern-recognition receptor that dampens the anti-tumor immune response. Preclinical studies show that antibodies that block the TIM-3 receptor may enhance the anti-tumor immune response when combined with an anti-PD-1 agent.
—Suria says the AnaptysBio platform also maximizes potency, meaning, in theory, a therapeutic effect could be achieved at lower antibody doses.
—“In addition,” Suria says, “our antibodies are optimized for manufacturability parameters (e.g. production yield and stability in storage), such that production is not a limiting factor for their success.”