Publication date: 22/03/2018
Argenx (Euronext & Nasdaq: ARGX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a deep pipeline of differentiated antibody-based therapies for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases and cancer, today announced the addition of a new pipeline candidate, ARGX-117, targeting the complement cascade with therapeutic potential in autoantibody-mediated indications.
ARGX-117 is a highly differentiated therapeutic antibody equipped with argenx's proprietary Fc engineering technology NHance® that addresses a novel target in the classic pathway of the complement cascade. With a potentially differentiated mechanism of action, ARGX-117 represents a broad pipeline opportunity across several autoantibody-mediated indications and may have a synergistic effect with lead autoimmune compound ARGX-113.
"We obtained the rights to ARGX-117 as part of our Innovative Access Program through which we identified the groundbreaking work on this antibody with Broteio Pharma. The mechanism of action of ARGX-117 may allow us to explore its potential benefit across a range of complement-mediated indications. In addition, ARGX-117 may synergize with our lead autoimmune compound ARGX-113, targeting FcRn in order to clear pathogenic immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, while our new complement-targeted antibody can also address immunoglobulin M (IgM)-mediated autoimmune diseases," commented Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of argenx. "We continue to execute on our pipeline strategy to seek out candidates that emerge from exciting science, enhance them with our platform technologies and bring them into development in an orphan indication. ARGX-117 represents a potential pipeline-in-a-product of treatments for orphan indications."
argenx and Broteio launched a collaboration in 2017 to conduct research, with support from the University of Utrecht, to demonstrate preclinical proof-of-concept of the mechanism of ARGX-117. As part of the collaboration agreement, argenx has exercised the exclusive option to license the program and assumed responsibility for further development and commercialization. Financial terms will not be disclosed.
About the Innovative Access Program
Through our Innovative Access Program (IAP), we bring our antibody discovery technologies to the heart of novel target research through close collaboration with academic experts and small biotech companies. The IAP allows our collaborators to use our technologies to unravel the functions of novel proteins in disease. In return, we receive early access to targets with therapeutic relevance and the potential to become the next therapeutic antibody programs in our pipeline.
Role of complement in autoimmune diseases
The classical pathway of the complement system is composed of a series of proteins that are activated when IgG or IgM autoantibodies bind to their targets. This mechanism contributes to tissue damage and organ dysfunction in a number of autoimmune inflammatory diseases. The ARGX-117 target is key in the lysis of antibody-decorated cells and is active when an immune reaction is taking place. ARGX-117 has therapeutic potential in orphan and large population autoimmune indications. The preclinical development work on ARGX-117 is done in close collaboration with Prof. E. Hack (UCM Utrecht, Laboratory for Translational Immunology).
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.
argenx is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a deep pipeline of differentiated antibody-based therapies for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. We are focused on developing product candidates with the potential to be either first-in-class against novel targets or best-in-class against known, but complex, targets in order to treat diseases with a significant unmet medical need. Our ability to execute on this focus is enabled by our suite of differentiated technologies. Our SIMPLE AntibodyTM Platform, based on the powerful llama immune system, allows us to exploit novel and complex targets, and our three antibody engineering technologies are designed to enable us to expand the therapeutic index of our product candidates.