The firm moved into its new premises at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, UK a few weeks ago but Biopharma-Reporter.com caught up with chief business officer Jane Dancer at Biotrinity in London late last month.
“Our R&D facility had outgrown the offices and labs that we were occupying so we just moved across the campus to a new building to have more space,” she said, adding the team has grown to over 60 members of staff over the last year.
As the name suggests, bispecific antibodies bind two different epitopes either on the same, or on different target.
F-star has a number of bispecific therapies in its pipeline developed using its own Modular Antibody Technology platform.
“Antibodies have proven to be very powerful and effective drugs, and bispecifics represent the next generation,” Dancer explained. “A bispecific allows you to have two different activities within a single molecule, you essentially get two bangs for your buck, almost!”
There are a number of technologies being used to develop bispecific antibodies but she said F-star’s differed by creating “building blocks which can slot into existing antibodies and make them bispecific, creating a novel binding site in the Fc region of any existing antibody in a 'plug and play' manner.”
She also said F-star’s bispecific molecules behave just like normal antibodies in terms of their manufacturing development properties. “With some bispecifics where there’s been a lot of engineering, they can be quite difficult to handle, but with ours you’re dealing with something that is familiar.”
While the firm is not in favour of transferring out the technology, Dancer said the platform has been validated through F-star’s partnerships with Big Biopharma firms, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany’s Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and – most recently – AbbVie.