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23 April, 2020 - 09:21 By Kate Sweeney

Horizon technology advances autoimmune disease treatment

Technology from Cambridge-based gene editing world leader Horizon Discovery has played a key role in generating a stable cell line for the development of an immunotherapy for autoimmune diseases. 

The UK company’s cGMP-compliant CHOSOURCE™ platform delivered high yields of monoclonal antibody for LAG-3 immunotherapy, enabling global group Immutep and Dutch company Batavia Biosciences to reach an important milestone in the preclinical development of the compound.

Horizon’s gene-edited Glutamine Synthetase (GS) knockout CHO K1 cell line expression system, offered by Batavia Biosciences as part of its STEP®-mAb service, was used to generate a high yielding cell line for Immutep’s IMP761 product candidate.

This is an agonist antibody targeting the immune checkpoint lymphocyte activation gene (LAG)-3. LAG-3 controls the signalling between specific immune cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells.

These are responsible for the adaptive immune response, making it a promising focus for novel cancer therapies or the treatment of autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Horizon’s well-established GS expression system facilitates the development of stable cell lines for the expression of antibodies and other recombinant proteins and is recognised in the industry and by regulators as suitable for high yield biomanufacturing. 

Its CHOSOURCE biomanufacturing platform helps companies move from the DNA sequence of their potential biotherapeutic to clinical manufacturing as simply and rapidly as possible. 

The platform is regarded as versatile and suitable for a broad range of monoclonal antibody therapeutics, delivering higher-than-anticipated yields of less commonly used IgG4-based antibodies, such as IMP761.

Jesús Zurdo, global head  of bioprocessing at Horizon Discovery, said: “We are very pleased with the excellent results obtained by Batavia, which further prove the versatility of CHOSOURCE in successfully expressing different types of biopharmaceuticals.

“The combination of Horizon’s CHOSOURCE platform with Batavia Biosciences’s STEP technology has enabled the rapid generation of a stable, highly-productive cell line that will help drive the clinical development of Immutep’s promising immunotherapy.”

CEO Terry Pizzie added: “We are dedicated to ensuring availability of key technologies that can improve affordability of medicines worldwide. Our CHOSOURCE biomanufacturing platform is empowering organisations from early stage start-ups to large pharmaceutical companies to drive efficiencies throughout development and production and has already been utilised in multiple successful innovative new drug filings.”

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