Company reserves right to commercialize antibodies as therapeutic or diagnostic products.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will provide scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center access to its VelocImmune technology to research mAbs. Regeneron holds an exclusive option to license the antibodies for development and commercialization as therapeutic or diagnostic products.

VelocImmune technology reportedly increases the speed and efficiency of fully human mAb development. The VelocImmune mouse, which UT Southwestern researchers will use, unlike other human-antibody-producing mice, mounts a robust immune response that is virtually indistinguishable from that of a wild type mouse, according to Regeneron.

The firm has two antibodies using the technology in Phase I trials. Interleukin-6R is for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, while nerve growth factor (NGF) is for the treatment of pain. Regeneron has filed an IND for a third antibody developed with VelocImmune that binds to Delta-like ligand-4, which will be evaluated for the treatment of solid tumors.

The agreement is through the company’s Academic VelocImmune Investigators Program. Regeneron entered a similar deal in September 2008 with Columbia University.

“VelocImmune is a unique antibody platform that allows researchers with limited antibody-production resources to create high-affinity, well-expressed, fully human antibodies in their own laboratories,” says George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., president of Regeneron Research Laboratories. “Participation in the Academic VelocImmune Investigators Program gives university scientists the opportunity to translate their research, insights, and discoveries into potential antibody therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases.”

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