AbClon said that it has succeeded in obtaining a U.S. patent for the AM201, an autoimmune bispecific antibody discovered using AffiMab, the company's bispecific antibody discovery proprietary technology.
"We have registered patents for the new drug technology in Korea, EU, and Japan," a company official said. "The U.S. patent has demonstrated once again the novelty and progress of the AM201 and the AffiMab platform."
AM201 is a new concept bispecific antibody treatment that simultaneously neutralizes the main inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), which causes various autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
The company expects that it will be able to administer the candidate extensively to diseases accompanied by cytokine storms due to the overexpression of these cytokines.
One of the areas that the company is looking to apply the technology is acute respiratory distress syndrome observed in the lungs of severe COVID-19 patients. IL-6 and TNF-α are responsible for the acute respiratory distress syndrome observed in the lungs of severe COVID-19 patients. They are known to be the two most important cytokines that cause cytokine storms.
TNF-α is a target substance that has proven effective in treating autoimmune diseases. The blockbuster antibody-drug Humira is a representative TNF-α inhibitor and has sold over 20 trillion won ($15.7 billion) in 2018.
IL-6 signaling antibody therapeutics are being developed by various multinational pharmaceutical companies to overcome the limitations of the single target of TNF-α. Representative products include Roche's Actemra and Sanofi and Regeneron's Kevzara.
The rheumatoid arthritis treatment market is expanding.
"Notably, Actemra and Kevzara have been verified as potential COVID-19 treatments and are currently undergoing or set to undergo clinical trials in the U.S.," the company said. "Therefore, the market size for such products is expected to grow further."
AbClon CEO Lee Jong-seo said, "AM201's patent acquisition in major countries, such as Korea, Europe, Japan, and the U.S., demonstrates the superiority of our bispecific antibody drug development platform and raises expectations for future values."
The company expects that the acquisition of the U.S. patent will help the license out negotiation process with multinational pharmaceutical companies based in the U.S., Lee added.
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