Triple alliance to ‘Quell’ autoimmune diseases
A tripartite UK-Portugal alliance is set to advance the search for drugs to fight autoimmune diseases and neuroinflammation.
IONTAS in Cambridge and Porto-based FairJourney Biologics S.A (FJB) – a leader in the discovery and optimisation of fully human antibodies – have entered into an agreement with Quell Therapeutics regarding IONTAS/FJB’s proprietary libraries and technology platforms.
Quell is harnessing the suppressive capacity of Tregs to develop engineered Treg cell therapies to address several conditions of immune dysfunction.
IONTAS/FJB will provide Quell with a diverse panel of novel target binders, ranging in affinities, to enable Quell to select functional binders for chimeric antigen receptor development against undisclosed targets.
The collaboration is non-exclusive and further terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.
Tregs are T cells which have a role in regulating or suppressing other cells in the immune system. Tregs control the immune response to self and foreign particles (antigens) and help prevent autoimmune disease.
Dr Antonio Parada, CEO at IONTAS, said: “Our experience in antibody discovery for use in cell-based therapies has grown in recent years, with a number of undisclosed partnerships rapidly moving towards the clinic.
“This insight will allow us to address the specific needs of Quell and we look forward to generating a diverse set of antibodies for further study and eventual clinical use by Quell in their engineered Treg cell therapy product candidates.”
Dr Luke Henry, VP Operations & Corporate Development at Quell, added: “The experience in antibody discovery shared by IONTAS and FJB, together with their unique library of target binders, makes them ideal partners as we focus on expanding our pipeline into autoimmune diseases and neuroinflammation.
“Such binders will be incorporated within our Modular Engineered Treg product candidates as we progress towards clinical candidates.”