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18 December, 2019 - 17:41 By Kate Sweeney

Russian biopharma takes Cambridge antibody into clinical trials

An antibody from Cambridge company IONTAS has entered clinical trials with a Russian biopharma giant to treat B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – the most common cancer in children. The drug candidate has been developed by Moscow company IBC Generium.

IBC Generium is focused on developing and commercialising pharmaceutical products for the treatment of orphan diseases and cancer. Approval has been received from the Russian health authorities to initiate clinical trials with the CD3/CD19 bispecific antibody.

This is the first IBC Generium drug candidate developed using IONTAS technology, which was approved for clinical trials. IBC Generium and IONTAS worked together to generate the anti-CD3 component of the bispecific molecule. 

This approval reflects the quality of antibodies generated and expertise within IBC Generium to reach this important clinical milestone. Following on from this trial it is anticipated that further clinical trials incorporating IONTAS antibodies will be driven forward by clients in the coming few years.

Dr John McCafferty, CEO and founder of IONTAS, said: “We are very proud of our involvement in this project and delighted that IBC Generium has achieved this important landmark. 

“We are hopeful for success in this initial trial and excited by the prospect of our anti-CD3 antibody contributing more broadly to the armoury of new and innovative cancer treatments.”

Dr Ravil Khamitov, CEO of IBC Generium, added: “IONTAS was selected because of its robust track record and technical know-how. We were confident IONTAS would deliver antibodies suitable for use in our bispecific programs and were not disappointed. 

“This trial is vindication of that confidence. We look forward to a successful clinical trial and further success with other antibodies developed with IONTAS.”

IONTAS offers services for antibody discovery using Phage Display Technology and the supply of bespoke phage display libraries. 

Generium is the leading Russian biopharmaceutical company, focused on developing and commercialiwing diagnostic systems and pharmaceutical products for the treatment of orphan diseases, infection diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, myocardial infarction and strokes. 

Generium consists of a high-end R&D center and a fully integrated manufacturing plant. The company has more than 30 innovative products in the pipeline, including enzymes, monoclonal antibodies and ATMPs.

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