arGEN-X SIMPLE Antibody(TM) Platform set to Transform Therapeutic Antibody Discovery & Development

Monday, March 1, 2010 Research News
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arGEN-X, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery anddevelopment of human monoclonal antibodies using its proprietary SIMPLEAntibody(TM) platform, announces that it will provide an update on thedevelopment of this unique platform and its own antibody pipeline during theBIO-Europe Spring event in Barcelona (March 8-10, 2010).

Tim Van Hauwermeiren, the CEO of arGEN-X, will highlight a series ofimportant technical breakthroughs during his presentation, demonstrating thepower of the Company's SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform to deliver multiple,diverse, ultra-potent functional antibodies that are able to blanket anytarget, regardless of its complexity.

He will also outline the very rapid progress that arGEN-X has made inbuilding its own pipeline with its lead product ARGX-109, which enteredpreclinical development less than 12 months from the start of the discoveryprocess. ARGX-109 was chosen from a panel of 65 functional antagonistsgenerated against IL-6, a cytokine that plays an important role in severalautoimmune, inflammation and oncology indications.

arGEN-X' SIMPLE Antibody(TM) Platform is based on the active immunisationof outbred Camelids with target antigen to deliver antibodies whose variableregions are virtually identical to those of human antibodies. These variabledomains are combined with human constant domains to generate full size, fullyhuman therapeutic antibodies.

SIMPLE Antibodies routinely exhibit gold-standard potency andmanufacturability without the need for additional engineering, making them anideal starting point for a therapeutic antibody development program.

Prof. Hans de Haard, CSO of arGEN-X commenting on the SIMPLE Antibody(TM)platorm said:

"The work that we have conducted in the past six months has clearlydemonstrated the power of our SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform and its potentialto transform the development of therapeutic antibodies. We have tested itsfull potential by selecting as targets two highly challenging receptors knownto play a pivotal role in cancer. In just a matter of weeks, we managed togenerate an incredibly diverse panel of ultra-potent antagonist antibodies,effectively blanketing these targets in a way that, according to our expertcollaborators, has never been seen before. Given the outstandingmanufacturability of our human antibody leads, we are now in a position tofurther develop candidates with the best possible drug characteristics inrecord time."

arGEN-X intends to use the power of the SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform tobuild its business by making its technology and know-how available tobiopharmaceutical companies through selective strategic partnerships andadding more exciting programs to its preclinical portfolio.

Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of arGEN-X commenting on the progress with theCompany's own antibody pipeline said:

"Our lead program has already been remarkably productive, identifying 65unique IL-6 antagonists with potencies in the picomolar to femtomolar range.Both lead and back-up molecules in this program have shown impressiveperformance in in vivo efficacy studies less than a year from projectcommencement, and are now being progressed into preclinical development. Weare extremely pleased with how quickly we have progressed all four of ourinternal programs. The progress that we have made so far with our platformand pipeline gives us great confidence in building a high-value business thatmakes us an attractive partner for big pharma."

The power of the SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform has enabled arGEN-X toclose a recent EUR12.5 milion Series A fund raising. The round was backed bya range of leading European life science investors including Forbion CapitalPartners, LSP, Credit Agricole Private Equity, KBC Private Equity,BioGeneration Ventures, Erasmus MC Biomedical Fund, Thuja Capital HealthcareFunds, as well as the prestigious Belgian life sciences research instituteVIB.

Note for the editor

About arGEN-X -

arGEN-X is a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a broadlyapplicable, proprietary SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform. The platform allowsarGEN-X to create an unparalleled diversity of in vivo generated antibodyleads against a broad range of human disease targets. This superior choice ofultra-high affinity and highly potent leads, having best-in-class humanhomology, allows for more stringent lead selection criteria, therebyincreasing the probability of success later in the drug development path. TheCompany has validated its platform on four human disease targets to date andhas broad patent claims in place covering its technology.

arGEN-X' SIMPLE Antibody(TM) Platform is based on the active immunisationof outbred Camelids with target antigens to deliver antibody whose variableregions are virtually identical to those of human antibodies. The combinationof those variable domains with the constant domains of human antibodies,generates full size, human therapeutic antibodies.

The SIMPLE Antibody(TM) Platform enjoys an independent, unencumberedpatent position and is free of target gatekeeping restrictions.

arGEN-X(TM) and SIMPLE Antibody(TM) are deposited trademarks of arGEN-XBV.

SIMPLE stands for Superior Immunodiversity with Minimal Protein LeadEngineering.ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, March 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- - SIMPLE Antibody(TM) Platform Delivers Unprecedented Choice of Ultra-Potent Functional Antibody Leads Against Challenging Soluble and Cell Surface Targets. - ARGX-109, a Fully Human mAb Targeting Autoimmune, Inflammation and Oncology Indications, Enters Preclinical Development in Less Than 12 Months From Start of Discovery.


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