LONDON, UK/BOSTON, MA, Dec. 12, 2017: LifeArc®, the UK-based medical research charity, today announced a partnership with TetraGenetics, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for autoimmune diseases and pain. The collaboration brings together the drug discovery skills of TetraGenetics with the antibody humanisation and development capabilities of LifeArc. Under the agreement LifeArc will humanise up to five new drug leads discovered by TetraGenetics and may support pre-IND (Investigational New Drug) studies for selected programs. TetraGenetics will manage the regulatory applications and the subsequent clinical trials for successful candidates.
The first collaborative program will focus on anti-Kv1.3 antibodies, targeting Type 1 Diabetes. TetraGenetics has discovered several functional antibodies to this well-validated target and is using funds provided by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to characterise them. The lead humanised antibody will be developed as a therapeutic intended to offer a cure or the ability to halt disease progression. The parties expect to complete humanisation by mid-2018 and plan to file an IND with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the end of 2019.
LifeArc’s labs in the UK have a reputation for helping scientists and organisations turn their research into treatments and diagnostics for patients. LifeArc has humanised over 60 antibodies, many of which have led to drugs that are on the market today, including the oncology drug, Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), marketed by Merck.
“The partnership with LifeArc will enable us to advance our programs and bring new drug discoveries to the clinic for first-in-human trials,” noted Doug Kahn, the Chairman and CEO of TetraGenetics. “We’re eager to get started and thrilled with our new partnership.”
John Kelly, Head of Business Development, Therapeutics and Diagnostics at LifeArc said, “As a charity we focus on the advancement of novel therapeutics and diagnostics to make an impact for patients. Through partnering with TetraGenetics, we hope to accelerate the development of a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.”