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.
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."