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March 17, 2011

Lonza to Provide Cell-Line and Process-Development Services for Athera’s mAb

  • Lonza will provide cell-line and process-development services for Athera Biotechnologies’ PC-mAb phosphorylcholine monoclonal antibody candidate, which the latter is developing as a treatment for preventing restenosis in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Lonza’s activities will exploit its GS Gene Expression System™ and secure a cGMP manufacturing route for Athera’s antibody candidate.

    Swedish firm Athera is one of Karolinska Development’s portfolio companies and is developing PC-mAb as a means to block the uptake of oxidized LDL in macrophages, and so effectively block the inflammatory process leading to atherosclerosis.

    Athera’s second therapeutic approach is designed to help prevent plaque rupture and atherothrombosis through increased binding of a plasma protein, annexin A5, to endothelium. The candidate is in preclinical development as a potential biopharmaceutical for treating acute coronary syndrome patients at immediate risk of acute heart attack.

    The firm already has a CE-marked diagnostic product on the market. CVDefine® is an ELISA test for detecting IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine. Athera claims low levels of anti-PC indicates a risk for the development of cardiovascular disease, and CVDefine has been developed to provide an early indication of lesions in the artery wall caused by inflammation.


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