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7 May, 2020 - 20:32 By Kate Sweeney

Cross-Channel antibody alliance targets inflammatory diseases

A French company that has just expanded its series B to €58 million has turned to a Cambridge antibodies pioneer to help address new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases.

Paris-based Inotrem is collaborating with IONTAS, which has grown impressively in the UK science & technology cluster under the guidance of founder and CEO Dr John McCafferty.

Inotrem is a specialist in immunotherapy for acute and chronic inflammatory syndromes. As part of the agreement, IONTAS will apply its Mammalian Display technology to identify antibodies involved in the TREM-1 pathway.

TREM-1, an immunoreceptor expressed on innate immune cells, has been identified by Inotrem as a key therapeutic target for many acute or chronic inflammation syndromes, including sepsis and myocardial infarction. 

Under the terms of the collaboration, Inotrem will have access to IONTAS’ proprietary Mammalian Display platform, enabling specific high-affinity antibodies with optimal biophysical properties to be selected, to support the company in developing TREM-1 inhibition-based therapies more efficiently, with reduced chemistry, manufacturing and control risk.

IONTAS’ Mammalian Display technology facilitates an increase in the probability and speed of antibodies successfully progressing into cell line development and manufacture. 

The platform screens antibodies in IgG format, in context of a mammalian cell, allowing researchers to assess lead candidate function, expression and developability early in the discovery process. In addition, large numbers of clones can be screened using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), in comparison to a low-throughput ELISA.

Dr Neil Butt, chief business officer of IONTAS, said: “By harnessing our expertise and novel Mammalian Display technology, we are pleased to support Inotrem in its mission to leverage the therapeutic potential of the TREM-1 pathway. 

“As well as generating an abundance of therapeutic antibody leads, our platform addresses developability issues early, to provide Inotrem with an increased likelihood of successfully identifying and progressing leads.”

Dr Marc Derive, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Inotrem, added: “Following the expansion of our Series B fundraising to €58 million, this collaboration with IONTAS allows us to diversify our lead generation process, ultimately helping us to bring new therapies for major public inflammatory diseases.”

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