Antiverse Ltd (Antiverse), a biotechnology company developing a computational antibody drug discovery platform, and GlobalBio, Inc. (GlobalBio), an antibody engineering company developing methods to engineer improved and more developable therapeutic antibodies, today announced they will be extending their collaboration to advance immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer therapy. The initial collaboration successfully resulted in the generation of a panel of anti-PD-1 antibodies with diverse binding and functional profiles, with two candidates from this panel now entering preclinical development.
The collaboration leveraged Antiverse’s proprietary AI-driven Antibody Discovery platform, which uses state-of-the-art machine learning techniques and advanced cell line engineering to develop antibodies for difficult drug targets, alongside GlobalBio’s ALTHEA semisynthetic libraries for the discovery and optimization of antibody-based therapeutics.
Through rounds of selection using recombinant human PD-1 as a selector, more than 300 clones were tested for their ability to bind human PD-1 and PD-1 orthologs of mouse, dog and cynomolgus. Among these clones, over a hundred were demonstrated to be positive binders to PD-1, with several dozen showing high specificity for human PD-1 and/or cross-reactivity with mouse, dog and cynomolgus orthologs. The best-performing clones were converted to antibody isotypes to minimize toxicity.
Several antibodies exhibited the ability to block PD-1:PD-L1 and PD-1:PD-L2 interactions in ELISA assays and Jurkat cells, and some promoted expression of Interferon-gamma in a mixed lymphocyte reaction co-culture assay. Antibodies D6, highly specific for human PD-1, and D13, cross-reactive with dog PD-1 and related variants, are now progressing to preclinical development in an extension of the collaboration.
Ben Holland, Co-founder and CTO of Antiverse, said: “This Agreement is further validation of our AI-driven drug discovery platform, successfully generating a panel of anti-PD-1 antibodies, with at least two potential candidates entering preclinical development. Through these types of innovative collaborations, Antiverse plays a vital role in accelerating the identification and development of novel antibody therapeutics for cancer, reducing drug discovery timelines and costs. We aim to continue to ‘open up’ the druggable antibody space.”
Antiverse’s antibody discovery platform complements our libraries and antibody engineering capabilities well. Through this collaboration, we have highlighted an exciting new avenue for us to bring new antibody-based checkpoint inhibitors into the immuno-oncology market for the treatment of cancers in both humans and animals.
Dr. Juan Carlos Almagro, Founder and CEO, GlobalBio, Inc.