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Trying to head off cancer
LONDON & DALLAS—Antitope Ltd., an Abzena company, announced recently that it will develop cells for the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (BIIR), which it calls “one of the world’s leading centers for translational immunology research,” using its Composite CHO technology. BIIR is developing a range of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, and the goal of this effort with Antitope is to develop a cell line for the production of BIIR’s novel dendritic-cell-targeting vaccine for the treatment of head and neck and cervical cancer.
Antitope and BIIR have worked together on other scientific work in the past, and Matthew Baker, chief scientific officer of the Abzena group and co- founder of Antitope, has expressed his pleasure at being able to continue their relationship and “have the opportunity to help advance one of [BIIR’s] novel therapeutic dendritic-cell-targeting vaccines towards the clinic.”
“We are thrilled to be continuing our working relationship with Matthew Baker and his team at Antitope on this program, and we anticipate that the vaccine can now be rapidly advanced to clinical studies,” concurred Gerard Zurawski, co-director of BIIR and director of the Center for Biotechnology at BIIR.
Antitope and BIIR began their relationship several years ago when Antitope applied its Composite Human Antibody technology to humanize several novel BIIR antibodies. Reportedly, the humanized antibodies have been an important tool for BIIR in the development of its therapeutic vaccines.
Helping the new collaboration and continuing work to go even smoother will be the fact that, as part of the Baylor Scott & White Health system, BIIR can access GMP manufacturing capabilities in the system’s Temple, Texas, facilities, which were established with funding from Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, “and our systemwide clinical trials infrastructure, to develop products for cancer patients across the globe,” according to Dr. Michael Ramsay, president of the Baylor Research Institute.
Abzena is the new name for the PolyTherics group, and the company notes that it is “focused on providing proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.” The Composite CHO technology was developed for the generation of stable cell lines producing high yields of proteins and antibodies ready for cGMP manufacture.
Wholly owned subsidiary Antitope calls itself “an industry leader in immunogenicity assessment, protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunized therapeutic proteins and cell line development for manufacture.” The company says it provides its services and technologies to an international client base that includes most of the world’s leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
BIIR is the immunology component of Baylor Research Institute and has programs in cancer vaccines, transplantation immunology, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. The goal of BIIR is to quickly translate important research discoveries from the “bench to the bedside” to improve patient care and prevent the causes of diseases before they occur.