(London, UK, 06 September 2010) MRC Technology announced today that BAN2401, the antibody it humanized for Swedish biopharmaceutical company BioArctic Neuroscience AB (Stockholm), has entered clinical trials to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The antibody is licensed by BioArctic Neuroscience AB to Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) who is conducting the trials.
BAN2401 is an antibody that targets the toxic amyloid aggregates believed to cause degeneration of brain cells leading to Alzheimer’s disease. The new treatment approach is expected to halt progression of the disease.
The study will primarily evaluate the safety of BAN2401 to determine a safe dose range and its effects on Alzheimer biomarkers. More than 80 Alzheimer’s patients with mild to moderate forms of the disease will participate. BAN2401 is the first monoclonal antibody to selectively bind and efficiently eliminate amyloid-β protofibrils, the toxic protein believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
The role of monoclonal antibody therapies in treating medical conditions has expanded tremendously since the first such therapy was developed in the 1970s by the UK’s Medical Research Council, and their use in treating neurological conditions has only increased in the past few years.
MRC Technology’s Tarran Jones, Director of their Therapeutic Antibody Group (TAG) said, ”Once again our antibody humanization process has proven to be one of the best ways to deliver robust antibody-based clinical candidates for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Our worldwide record of success shows the confidence our partners have in our ability to engineer therapeutic antibodies.”
MRC Technology will receive clinical development milestones as BAN2401 enters into and progresses through clinical trials as well as royalties on sales. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.