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Mounting an attack with mAbs
03-12-2020
by Mel J. Yeates  |  Email the author
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VICTORIA, B.C. and NEW YORK—ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. (IPA), following its recent announcement of a collaboration to develop innovative treatments against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has disclosed its unique approach utilizing PolyTope mAb Therapy. This therapy has been enabled by ImmunoPrecise’s discovery platforms and artificial intelligence capabilities with their partner, EVQLV, Inc., in the development of a universal COVID-19 therapy.
 
“Given the continuous increase in information on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and seemingly higher than predicted mutation rates, we believe that traditional treatments and diagnostics targeting limited epitopes may present a significant liability for long-term efficacy of a therapeutic, vaccine or diagnostic,” stated Dr. Jennifer Bath, ImmunoPrecise Antibodies’ chief executive officer and president.
 
The emerging SARS-CoV-2 virus, and other new (related) pathogens, requires the rapid development of broadly effective treatments and vaccines. Given its biology, developing an effective therapeutic plan for treating SARS-CoV-2 infection required a sophisticated approach that considered multiple mechanisms of immune system involvement, the predictability of mutations within the virus genome and other attributes with the potential to provide maximum clinical benefit for both current and future variants of the virus.
 
Current vaccine strategies under development for SARS-CoV-2 are being designed to protect uninfected individuals, but those strategies do not address patients with active disease. Antibody therapies represent a potentially powerful treatment option for COVID-19 patients, but the proposed curative options (including polyclonal, sensitized serum or individual monoclonal antibody therapies) are potentially susceptible to escape by viral mutation. These options are likely not broadly effective against multiple strains, which will leave segments of the population untreated.
 
“Our PolyTope mAb Therapy perfectly combines the benefits of using well-defined and fully characterized monoclonal antibodies with the essential need for a multi-targeting strategy to tackle this quickly emerging virus, thereby significantly accelerating effective clinical application,” emphasized Ilse Roodink, chairwoman of Talem Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Committee and Coronavirus Global Project Leader.
 
ImmunoPrecise, through its subsidiary Talem Therapeutics, and EVQLV announced their new SARS-CoV-2 collaboration on March 2.
 
“We have been working diligently with EVQLV’s executive team on strategic and operational alignments for the past nine months, an astonishingly fateful advantage under these circumstances, and are able, consequently, to leverage the benefits of this collaboration immediately. Our time spent with EVQLV’s management has demonstrated their immense capacity for creativity and thinking outside the box, while absorbing the complexities of IPA’s technologies and outputs. We believe the two teams will create significant therapeutic value together,” Bath noted in a press release, also mentioning that “We aim to dramatically reduce the time it takes to identify robust lead candidates with clinical relevance.”
 
Therapeutic candidates developed through this collaboration will remain the ownership of ImmunoPrecise, with commercial royalties issued to EVQLV upon completion of predefined commercial milestones. ImmunoPrecise has stressed, however, that there is no assurance that the company will be successful in the development of a vaccine and/or therapeutic against COVID-19.
 
“We are excited to be working with the incredible team at IPA. ImmunoPrecise’s end-to-end antibody discovery capabilities and their highly sophisticated platforms are ideally optimized to leverage our computational technology to rapidly discover treatments for the Coronavirus,” added Andrew Satz, EVQLV’s chief executive officer, at the time of the collaboration announcement. “By working together, we are supporting our shared commitment of using cutting edge technology to accelerate the identification and validation of novel therapies for those in need.”
 
Code: E03122001

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