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Two partners enter clinical development with biopharmaceuticals enabled by Abzena's technology

24 April 2015

Two partners enter clinical development with biopharmaceuticals enabled by Abzena's technology

Cambridge, UK – Abzena plc (AIM:ABZA), a life sciences company providing services and technologies that enable the development of biopharmaceutical products, provides the following update from its two subsidiary businesses, Antitope and PolyTherics.

Since the last update announced on 9 February, two further antibodies that were developed using Antitope’s Composite Human Antibody™ technology have entered clinical development, bringing the number of antibodies currently in the clinic to eight. The latest antibodies to reach clinical development include one being developed by an undisclosed US major pharma partner for neurodegenerative conditions and TBI 304H, being developed by Therapure Innovations, a division of Therapure Biopharma Inc., for chemotherapy-induced anaemia. In addition to these Composite Human Antibodies™ entering clinical development, Gilead Sciences, Inc. plans to initiate a Phase II trial with GS-5745 for the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn's disease.

Antitope has recently completed a Composite Human Antibody™ programme for University College London, supported by UCL Business PLC, announced in August 2014, for the generation of a fully humanized antibody to be developed as a potential treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Two further agreements have recently been signed for Composite Human Antibody™ programmes with a US biotech company. Abzena could potentially receive milestone and/or royalty payments as products derived from its Composite Human Antibodies™ platform are progressed through clinical development and are commercialised.

PolyTherics has made good progress with the development of its ThioBridge™ technology for attaching cytotoxic drugs to antibodies to create antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer. Abzena has increased the number of collaborations it has with companies evaluating ThioBridge™ and is working with a range of different cytotoxic payloads for its partners.

Data from preclinical models of cancer, presented at the World ADC Summit (Frankfurt, February 2015), showed that ThioBridge™ ADCs produced a greater reduction in tumour size compared to the marketed ADC products, Adcetris® and Kadcyla®. Abzena has also demonstrated in vivo activity for ThioBridge™ ADCs with novel payloads arising from the Group’s R&D investment.

John Burt, Abzena CEO, commented: “Abzena’s investment in the ThioBridge™ technology continues to build the positioning of its offering to enable the development of a new generation of better ADC products. Our business model combines the delivery of research collaboration programmes for our partners that translate into products that they can carry forward into development. In this regard, I am delighted that we can report that the seventh and eighth products from the Composite Human Antibody™ platform are now entering clinical studies.”

Adcetris® is registered trademark of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Kadcyla® is a registered trademark of F. Hoffman-La Roche AG.