09 dicembre 2020
New grants across multiple territories cover the use of humanised or de-immunised VNARs for therapeutic applications
ABERDEEN, Scotland, Dec. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Elasmogen Ltd, the biopharmaceutical company leading the development of soloMER™ biologics, today announces a significant development in its comprehensive intellectual property position as two new patent families go to grant in multiple territories. These grants underpin Elasmogen’s drug-discovery platform, the use of humanised or de-immunised VNAR proteins (soloMERs™) for therapy and the protection of a growing portfolio of drug formats particularly for systemic therapy with extended serum half-life.
soloMERs™ are Elasmogen’s proprietary versions of drugs originally based on VNARs, small (11 kDa) antibody-like proteins found in sharks. The conversion of VNARs into soloMERs, a format that retains the unique characteristics of VNARs but is now suitable for human use (humanisation or de-immunisation), has been granted as inventive in the US and is captured by a patent family consisting of a parental filing and broad Divisionals. In addition, making use of the latest genetic engineering techniques, Elasmogen have created in their laboratories huge, diverse drug libraries of more than 100 billion unique VNARs and soloMERs, from which new drug leads can be efficiently isolated to a range of drug targets (Elasmogen’s “drug-engine”). These libraries combine the qualities of different shark species in a test-tube and their innovative design has been rewarded with patent grants in the: US, Europe, Canada, Japan, China and Australia in recent months.
Elasmogen CEO Caroline Barelle said; “We are delighted that all our hard-work and invention has been rewarded with the grant of new patents that secures Elasmogen’s position as a global leader in the development of VNARs into biologic therapeutics. The ability to put the equivalent of 10,000 sharks in a test-tube to provide a platform for drug discovery and to be able to format soloMERs for diseases such as cancer and inflammation is the spring-board we need to move to the next stage of our commercial journey.”
The new patent families support both Elasmogen’s internal pipeline of novel drugs as well as the growing number of successful commercial partnerships. These partnerships have expanded the use of soloMERs to include direct therapeutic applications, half-life extension and targeting agents with potent drug warheads (so called drug conjugates) for the treatment of aggressive and life-shortening diseases. One collaboration with Almac Discovery Ltd has focussed its efforts on the cancer target ROR1 and has delivered total tumour regression of solid-tumour cancers in in vivo models of disease for over 100 days.
“The opportunity to work in partnership with other companies is accelerating the progress of a range of disease modifying opportunities for our soloMERs™, delivering the potential to destroy hard to treat cancers by stealth and from deep inside the solid-tumour, rapidly moving Elasmogen towards a clinical-stage biotech,” said Andy Porter, Elasmogen CTO.
Spun-out from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 2016, Elasmogen is developing soloMERs™; fully humanized (or de-immunised), next generation, single chain therapeutics for auto-inflammatory diseases and oncology soloMERs™ are proprietary humanized clinical candidates derived from VNARs (variable new-antigen receptors) which exist naturally in the immune-system of sharks as high affinity, antibody-like, binding domains. With a different ancestral origin from antibodies this example of 400 million year old convergent evolution places VNARs outside of the complex patent landscape that describes and protects antibody drug discovery and has produced the smallest (9% of the size of an antibody) and most robust naturally occurring binding domains in the animal kingdom. Elasmogen is unique in its capacity to isolate and develop soloMERs, with a multi-layered IP position covering the platform, formats, products and process including over 25 patents granted in the US, Europe and other territories.
The company is using its expertise in early and later-stage pre-clinical development to rapidly advance a series of new, locally delivered protein products against auto-inflammatory diseases. In addition, Elasmogen is collaborating with a number of high quality biopharma partners and academics to maximise the full therapeutic opportunities that its technology provides.