argenx and Broteio Pharma have partnered to develop a therapeutic antibody against a complement cascade target through to preclinical proof of concept. The firms say the antibody has the potential to treat autoantibody- and complement-mediated disorders, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and antibody-mediated rejection in organ transplant recipients.

The collaboration will give Broteio access to argenx’s antibody technology platforms through the latter’s Innovative Access Program. argenx retains an exclusive option to license the complement-targeting antibody program once preclinical proof of concept has been achieved.

Netherlands-based Broteio was established as a 50/50 joint venture between Prothix and Bioceros Holding to develop anti-complement monoclonal antibodies.

argenx is exploiting its SIMPLE Antibody™ platform and Fc engineering expertise to develop a pipeline of antibody-based therapeutics targeting severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. The firm’s Phase I- and Phase II-stage clinical pipeline includes two oncology programs and two severe autoimmunity programs. In January, the firm started a Phase II proof-of-concept study with lead candidate ARGX-113 in patients with myasthenia gravis.

Earlier this month argenx confirmed that its Innovative Access Program partner Staten Biotech had exercised its option to license ARGX-116, an anti-ApoC3 SIMPLE Antibody candidate, for the potential treatment of dyslipdemia.

In February, argenx reported extending for another year its existing partnership with Shire to discover and develop antibodies against rare and unmet diseases. The extension will run through to the end of May 2018 and involve continued preclinical development of the most promising programs to emerge from the partnership. Shire retains the option to take over product development and commercialization of any or all of the joint programs. argenx and Shire started working together in 2012 and expanded their partnership into a strategic alliance in 2014.

argenx and AbbVie inked their potentially $685 million deal in April 2015 to develop the preclinical-stage argenx GARP-targeting anticancer antibody ARGX-115. The early clinical-stage interleukin-6 (IL-6)-targeting antibody ARGX-109 (gerilimzumab) is partnered with Bird Rock Bio. In August of last year, argenx ended its collaboration with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to develop the CD70-targeting anticancer antibody candidate ARGX-110 for refractory Waldenström's macroglobulinemia following the firm’s decision not to progress the candidate for the rare blood cancer indication. At the time, argenx said it would continue development of the early clinical-stage antibody for T-cell leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia.

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