Monday, October 16, 2023
Antiverse Ltd (Antiverse), a biotechnology company specializing in computational antibody drug discovery, and GlobalBio, Inc. (GlobalBio), an antibody engineering firm focused on enhancing therapeutic antibodies, have jointly announced an extension of their partnership to advance immune checkpoint inhibitors for cancer therapy. Their initial collaboration has already yielded a positive outcome, with the successful creation of a variety of anti-PD-1 antibodies, each with diverse binding and functional characteristics. Two of these antibody candidates have now moved into preclinical development.
The collaboration leveraged Antiverse's proprietary AI-driven Antibody Discovery platform, which employs advanced machine learning techniques and sophisticated cell line engineering to design antibodies for challenging drug targets. GlobalBio's ALTHEA semisynthetic libraries played a pivotal role in the discovery and optimization of antibody-based therapeutics.
The selection process involved testing more than 300 clones for their ability to bind to human PD-1 and PD-1 orthologs in mice, dogs, and cynomolgus monkeys, using recombinant human PD-1 as a selector. Among these clones, over a hundred demonstrated positive binding to PD-1, with several dozen exhibiting high specificity for human PD-1 and/or cross-reactivity with the orthologs in mice, dogs, and cynomolgus monkeys. The best-performing clones were subsequently converted into antibody isotypes to minimize potential toxicity.
Several of these antibodies demonstrated the ability to block interactions between PD-1 and PD-L1 as well as PD-1 and PD-L2 in various assays, including ELISA assays and Jurkat cells. Some of them even stimulated the expression of Interferon-gamma in mixed lymphocyte reaction co-culture assays. Notably, Antibodies D6, known for their high specificity for human PD-1, and D13, which exhibit cross-reactivity with dog PD-1 and related variants, are now advancing into preclinical development as part of this extended collaboration.
Ben Holland, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Antiverse, expressed his confidence in the AI-driven drug discovery platform's success, citing the creation of a diverse range of anti-PD-1 antibodies and the progression of at least two potential candidates into preclinical development. He highlighted how innovative collaborations like these are instrumental in accelerating the identification and development of novel antibody therapeutics for cancer, ultimately reducing both timelines and costs associated with drug discovery. Their aim is to continue expanding the horizons of druggable antibody space.
Dr. Juan Carlos Almagro, Founder and CEO at GlobalBio, Inc., emphasized the synergy between Antiverse's antibody discovery platform and their libraries and antibody engineering capabilities. He sees this collaboration as an exciting opportunity to introduce new antibody-based checkpoint inhibitors into the immuno-oncology market, benefiting the treatment of cancers in both human and animal patients.