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18 September, 2012 - 07:16 By Tony Quested

New antibody to revolutionise drug discovery

Kymab CEO Andy Sandham

New technology that will revolutionise rapid discovery of antibody drug candidates has been launched commercially by a Cambridge UK biopharmaceutical pioneer.

The BioMedTech cluster which produced CAT (Cambridge Antibody Technology) – whose technology produced the region’s one and only blockbuster drug – has now produced a transgenic mouse.

Kymab, Business Weekly’s reigning BiomedTech Business of the Year, today launched Kymouse HK – the first strain from the innovative Kymouse™ antibody discovery platform, which enables rapid discovery of high affinity antibody drug candidates.

Kymouse HK is a transgenic mouse that has been designed to produce a diverse repertoire of high affinity fully human heavy/kappa chain antibodies to a broad range of drug targets.

This represents a significant advance over existing commercial strains that are currently used in the pharmaceutical industry, according to the leading lights steering the young company to global success, Andy Sandham and Dr Allan Bradley.

CEO Sandham revealed: “We have developed the innovative Kymouse using novel embryonic stem cell and recombineering technologies. We have applied meticulous attention to quality control at every stage.

“I am delighted that our efforts have been validated through the launch of our first commercial strain. Our strategy is to use Kymouse HK for our own antibody drug discovery projects and to employ a broad partnering approach to make the strain available to pharmaceutical companies for their own discovery programmes.”

The Kymouse platform has been designed to surpass the diversity of antibodies produced in humans. It provides unique tools to discover functional and developable drug candidates to address challenging drug targets.

The platform is covered by a strong intellectual property portfolio, including a European Patent that has received notice of allowance from the European Patent Office. Allan Bradley, former director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Kymab’s chief scientific officer, said: “Our Kymouse HK strain involves targeted insertion of human heavy chain and kappa chain genes into the corresponding mouse genes to ensure their correct regulatory control and usage, without perturbation of non-immunoglobulin gene function.

“We have demonstrated that Kymouse HK has a normal B-‐cell compartment, produces high antibody titres of all isotypes in response to antigen challenge and affinity matures antibodies in vivo, through normal rearrangement and somatic hypermutation processes.”

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