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Across the board
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Looking to enter the diagnostics side of the next-gen monoclonal antibody market, InNexus Biotechnology Inc. in late February filed various patent applications for the development of diagnostic and research tools based on its Dynamic Cross Linking (DXL) technology platform.
Up to this point, InNexus has been known as a drug development company commercializing the next generation of monoclonal antibodies using its DXL technology.
But InNexus Chairman and CEO Jeff Morhet is clear that his company will produce a new commercial offering, DXLdiagnostics, which will be further prepared over the next year. When complete, it will be commercialized as a quantitative amplification technology aimed at improving and speeding up the development of antibody-based diagnostic tests offered to the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry and contract research organizations.
He says that the plan has always been to extend the DXL technology into the diagnostics arena, but he also stresses that InNexus "will remain, first and foremost, a company focused on therapeutics."
"To develop a diagnostics offering is an exciting situation evolved from the work we have conducted in the last year during the development of InNexus' pipeline of preclinical candidates," Morhet says. "It clearly demonstrates an expanded development and market potential of DXL technology. Earlier, faster and more accurate diagnosis is driving the entire life science marketplace, which is something we can't ignore."
He expects to have the commercial offering ready early next year. Morhet says that while it wasn't an easy process per se, the proof of concept on diagnostics is less intense than with therapeutics. And, in a sense, while doing proof of concept for various therapeutics using the DXL platform, InNexus was all along building up proof of concept data for a diagnostic offering as well. So the move toward diagnostics has been relatively smooth, Morhet notes, and he doesn't anticipate any potholes in the road ahead.
As for what makes DXL so valuable, Dr. Thomas Kindt, InNexus' CSO, notes in a news release about the deal that the signature property of DXL antibodies—their ability to form multimers subsequent to binding to their target antigen—has potential to greatly enhance their value in diagnostic as well as in therapeutic applications. "In the simplest case, a DXL antibody used to detect a target antigen will yield a several-fold stronger signal upon binding a fixed amount of the antigen because more antibodies will accumulate at the target based on the autophilic nature of the DXL antibodies," he noted.
As proof of concept and other work continues on the diagnostic side, Morhet sees value in that data helping to further boost and refine DXL work in therapeutics.
"We're still highly focused—and primarily focused—on developing treatments using monoclonal antibodies," Morhet reiterates. "And the work we're doing right now is helping us move quickly to what we expect will be another round of patent applications later this year for a different set of methods and applications for an enhanced discovery and development platform based on DXL."