Lonza wins preclinical testing contract for ‘virus supressing factor’

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Biotechnology Protein Lonza

Lonza will supply preclinical immunogenicity testing services for a candidate protein antiviral being worked on by South Korean biotech ImmuneMed.

The protein services agreement will see the Swiss firm assess the immunogenicity of a ‘virus supressing factor’ – an antiviral cytokine – ImmuneMed is developing as a potential alternative treatment for viral infection.

Lonza will conduct the analysis – including preclinical screening and deimmunization – at its development centre in Cambridge, UK using an epitope prediction technology it acquired in 2009 with the acquisition of contract research organisation (CRO) Algonomics​.

The acquisition gave Lonza access to Algonomics’ Epibase and Epibase IV platforms which provide in silico T-cell epitope screening and in vitro T-cell assays respectively.

Using these technologies candidates can quickly, accurately and cost-effectively be screened for their immunogenicity profiles – enabling companies to rank proteins or vaccines in terms of safety for their development selection programmes.

The Algonomics deal was also part of a wider development services focused strategy that saw Lonza partner with Oddyssey Thera​ to add protein-fragment complementation services (PCS) to its small molecule profiling offering.

Attrition rates

Speaking about today's deal Switzerland-based Lonza said ImmuneMed will be able to use the in silico​ screening data to improve its candidate selection processes and reduce the “attrition rate in their drug development program​.”

We are excited to support Korea’s growing biotechnology landscape with our risk assessment services​,” said Janet White, Head of Lonza’s Development Services. “This partnership is a direct reflection of Lonza’s commitment to the success of our customers’ preclinical pipeline."

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