Abzena to make wet-AMD antibody drug candidate for UCL at US plant

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/iLexx
iStock/iLexx

Related tags: Macular degeneration, Immune system

Abzena Plc has been contracted to make an antibody drug candidate for wet age-related macular degeneration by developers at University College London.

The UK-headquartered contractor will make the drug candidate – magacizumab – at its manufacturing facility in San Diego, US, which it acquired in September​ 2015 when it bought contractor PacificGMP.

Abzena led both initial development and humanization of magacizumab on UCLs behalf using its ‘Abzena inside​’ Composite Human Antibody technology. The firm also created the cell line it will use to produce the antibody.

CEO John Burt acknowledged the firm’s long term involvement, commenting “Being able to support the progression of Magacizumab towards the clinic is an important opportunity. 

“This is the second ‘Abzena inside’ product that will utilise our San Diego biomanufacturing facility, demonstrating how our expanded contract manufacturing capabilities enable Abzena to earn additional service revenue from products created with our technologies.”

Humanization

The first product is Faron's drug candidate Clevegen - an antibody that neutralises a subset of immune cells linked to tumour proliferation – which Abzena announced it would make at the facility last year.

Clevegen was also humanized by Abzena. The firms approach is to make non-human therapeutic antibodies - those derived from mice, llamas - as human-like as possible by replacing sequences in the animal derived antibodies with their human equivalents.

However, while Abzena humanized Clevegen for Faron, development of the production cell lines was conducted by Swiss biotechnology firm Selexis SA.

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