AdAlta and Crossbeta Biosciences have entered into a commercialization agreement, granting Crossbeta with a license to three beta-amyloid oligomer (AßO)-specific shark antibodies, considered to have disease-specific potential for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
These three shark antibodies were identified under a December 2013 agreement between the two companies. The research and development collaboration used AßOs produced by Crossbeta’s technology of stable oligomers, and AdAlta’s shark antibody portfolio, to screen these novel targets in order to identify the best therapeutic and diagnostic candidates.
Proteins are long linear chains of a variety of building blocks (amino acids). To function properly, these chains must be folded in a specific manner. However, sometimes, misfolded proteins stick together, forming aggregates that can be very toxic. In AD, oligomers (molecular complex) of amyloid-beta protein cause death of brain cells that have an important function in memory. Having a drug that detoxifies these oligomers may prevent further damage in early stage AD.
Unfortunately the instability and limited characterization of oligomer preparations have seriously impeded research and development in this field. Crossbeta’s portfolio is based on stable oligomers of several peptides including amyloid beta (1-42 and pGlu3-42) and alpha-synuclein.
AdAlta’s technology platform mimics the shape and engineers key stability features of the antigen-binding domain of shark antibodies into human proteins to create unique compounds, called i-bodies, for therapeutic intervention in diseases.
The three licensed anti-AßO antibodies bind specifically to the disease-relevant AßO preparation, without binding to the monomer and fibrils of the beta-amyloid protein.
Upon successful commercialization of shark antibodies as diagnostic or therapeutic agents, AdAlta is entitled to revenue royalties, with Crossbeta being responsible for the research and development.
AdAlta Chief Executive Officer Samantha Cobb said in a press release: “Crossbeta’s novel and unique oligomer-stabilization technology enabled us to identify Alzheimer’s disease-specific shark single domain antibodies with highly valuable differential binding properties. The long loop of the shark single domain antibody (or i-body) binds to unusual epitopes with high affinity and specificity, as demonstrated with our lead candidate to a GPCR and previous targets and, most recently, in this instance with Crossbeta’s AßOs. This licensing deal fits with our strategy to focus on the i-body platform and our lead candidate in fibrosis and we believe that Crossbeta with its strong position in the therapeutic area of Alzheimer’s is the right partner to realize the potential of these novel antibodies.”
Crossbeta Biosciences Chief Executive Officer Guus Scheefhals said in the release “We are very pleased with the outcome of our collaborative agreement with AdAlta, exploiting the promising characteristics of our AßOs to the future benefit of the Alzheimer’s field and patients. We will now move forward with developing these novel anti-AßO antibodies as potential treatments of real disease modification potential and diagnostic use, as early in the disease as possible, for the benefit of Alzheimer’s patients.”