POLLING, Germany, September 07, 2020
IcanoMAB, a privately-funded biotech company focusing on the pre-clinical and clinical development of novel precision canonical antibodies for the treatment of cancer, immune-system related diseases and Covid-19, today announced, that it has been successfully founded and funded.
The company has secured three clinical candidates in IND-enabling stage and funding from MAB Discovery GmbH, originally generating the licensed antibodies from a novel antibody discovery platform. After 10 years of more than 50 successful monoclonal antibody discovery projects with large Pharma and mid- and large-size Biotech companies, MAB Discovery sold its antibody production platform and laboratory to BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) in 2019. At the end of 2019, a pre-clinical project in the field of Immuno-oncology was licensed to a Top Pharma company.
IcanoMAB will use the proceeds to advance the clinical candidates to allow IND-enabling activities and respective partnering activities with selected third parties.
Particularly urgent are effective treatments for Covid-19 and its potentially fatal outcome driven by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). While Vaccine development is progressing and sufficient broad population protection yet to be demonstrated, risks of detrimental effects via Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) will require specific therapeutic intervention. In any case, an effective treatment is urgently needed as an option for clinicians to treat severely affected late-stage Covid-19 patients.
Significant improvement of clinical outcome is also required for treatment of acute inflammatory conditions including several severe rare diseases like Macrophage-Activation Syndrome, SJIA / Still’s Disease or IBD and Gout where sometimes even specific treatments are missing, addressing the underlying cause.
The same holds true for clinical outcome in cancer therapy, whether it is the treatment of women with early Breast Cancer and especially through neo-adjuvant treatment, or via novel immuno-oncology treatments across multiple solid cancers.
While monoclonal antibody discovery has progressed significantly in the last decades, precise canonical antibodies have not been well exploited to address clinically validated and/or clinical targets in a physiological manner. The technology of MAB Discovery was developed to generate an unlimited number of diverse antibody-producing B-cells (>10,000) with optimal variability without additional in vitro maturation or engineering to optimize therapeutically relevant paratopes. Resulting antibodies have been applied to Pharma-derived high throughput screening in functional assays to identify lead candidates that fulfill a predefined list of biological activities and provide optimal potency essential for differential therapeutic application. Potential leads have gone through a sophisticated sequence optimization: Humanization, elimination of T-cell epitopes & potential CMC liabilities. Addressing validated targets generated proprietary molecules with novel modes of intervention and the knowledge of first-generation molecules enabled a well guided in vitro differentiation. This approach allows focused activities for in-vivo PoC in animal models and in the clinic with limited remaining CMC risks.
Addressing those needs, IcanoMAB's clinical lead candidates have been developed to date and are in collaborations with leading experts and renowned organizations across the world like
The Dinarello Lab, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado/USA and Department of Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen/The Netherlands;
Division of Immunology and Allergy, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm/Sweden;
Department of Infectious Disease and Institute of Clinical Medicine Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus/Denmark;
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical Center University Regensburg/Germany;
Division of Genetics, University of Erlangen/Germany;
Division of Asthma Exacerbation & Regulation, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Borstel/Germany and
Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona/Spain