Debbie Allen, VP, Business Development, arGEN-X, told BioPharma-Reporter.com the partnership, using the company’s “SIMPLE” technology platform will give Bayer access to more diverse antibodies.
“The platform we use is the conventional antibody response of the llama. The advantage is you can use the technology immunising the animals with DNA instead of with protein. This allows you to get the maximum possible diversity of antibodies against your target.”
Cracking complex puzzles
The llama technology will help the German pharmaceutical giant to crack complex antibody targets, said Allen.
“Bayer is already very well-equipped with antibody technology but they recognise the ArGEN-X ‘SIMPLE’ platform can really help to crack the complex targets in a way that existing antibody platforms are failing to do.
“Many big pharmaceutical companies are recognising there is very high value in these targets they’ve been unable to unravel so far.”
ArGEN-X’s CEO Tim Van Hauwermeiren described the collaboration as an “elite partnership.” Allen told us ArGEN-X will perform much of the research in its own laboratories for Bayer,
“but it’s a true collaboration because they have expertise in antibodies themselves.”
The companies will work together to validate human antibody leads in disease-relevant models, with Bayer taking responsibility for further preclinical and clinical development and commercialization of the resulting antibody products.
Aside from the latest discovery stage project with Bayer, ArGEN-X, a five year-old Dutch company, is best known for its clinical stage work. It currently has two oncology programmes in their clinical stage, and a third programme in pre-clinical manufacturing.
ArGEN-X was founded in 2008 by former executives of the Belgian company Ablynx. Both companies use antibodies found in the Camelidae family of mammals, following the discovery that camels and llamas possess heavy-chain antibodies with a single variable domain (VHH) and two constant domains (CH2 and CH3).