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Abzena’s subsidiary Antitope and University College London enter into Research & Licence Agreement

22 August 2014

Abzena’s subsidiary Antitope and University College London enter into Research & Licence Agreement

Abzena’s subsidiary Antitope and University College London enter into a Research & Licence Agreement for the generation of fully humanized antibodies using Antitope’s Composite Human Antibody™ technology

Cambridge, UK – Abzena plc (AIM: ABZA or “Abzena”), a revenue-generating life sciences company providing services and technologies that enable the development of better biopharmaceutical products, announces its wholly-owned subsidiary Antitope Limited (“Antitope”) and University College London (“UCL”), one of the world’s leading universities, will collaborate to humanize an anti-LRG1 antibody as part of a MRC-funded translational research and product development programme being undertaken by the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

The collaboration is supported by UCL Business PLC (UCLB), UCL’s wholly owned technology transfer company, which provided initial Proof of Concept funding and holds the patents to the LRG1 technologies.

LRG1 (leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein 1) was identified by researchers at UCL to promote the growth of blood vessels (a process known as ‘angiogenesis’). Angiogenesis is an important factor in the progression of cancer and angiogenesis inhibitors have been used successfully to treat a wide range of ophthalmic diseases.

Antitope will produce a range of fully humanized antibodies using its Composite Human Antibody™ technology that are designed to bind to and inhibit the function of LRG1. UCL will select a lead antibody for further evaluation as a potential therapeutic product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). UCLB is continuing to support development of this technology and is currently seeking commercial partners to take it to market. No commercial terms are disclosed.

Professor Stephen Moss, Ashton Professor of Biomedical Research and Vice-Dean Enterprise, commented: “LRG1 is a highly promising target for controlling pathogenic angiogenesis, and we are excited to be working with Antitope to develop an anti-LRG1 antibody as a potential therapeutic agent.”

Matt Baker, Abzena's Chief Scientific Officer, added: “The use of antagonists of LRG1 to inhibit angiogenesis is an interesting area of research that could lead to the treatment of a number of different angiogenesis-driven diseases such as AMD and some cancers. We are delighted to be supporting UCL in the development of a fully human anti-LRG1 antibody.”