Updated on 15 February 2013
Novozymes, EpiVax collaborate on autoimmune diseases therapy
Singapore: Novozymes Biopharma collaborated with Rhode Island-based biotech company, EpiVax, for development of treatment for autoimmune diseases. The agreement will involve linking EpiVax's proprietary Tregitope (T regulatory epitopes) immune-modulating therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, to Novozymes' Albufuse half-life extension platform. The deal will help modulate half-life of the therapy to offer improved control, thus enhancing the overall efficacy of treatment.
Mr Dave Mead, business development director, Novozymes Biopharma, said that, "By taking EpiVax's pioneering therapy and combining it with Novozymes' versatile and clinically demonstrated Albufuse technology, along with the unparalleled expertise of our R&D scientists, we will work together to move the treatment to the next stage in its development."
EpiVax has identified a set of natural Tregitopes derived from immunoglobulin G (IgG) that induce tolerance to immunogenic proteins. Preliminary studies in the area of type 1 diabetes have indicated that Tregitopes specifically induce natural Tregs and, when co-administered with an antigen, lead to the expansion of antigen-specific regulatory T cells. Modulation of auto-immune responses to autologous epitopes by induction of antigen-specific tolerance may prevent ongoing beta-cell destruction and restore the production of insulin.
Dr Annie De Groot, CEO and CSO, EpiVax, said that, "Novozymes' proven solutions, technical expertise, and reputation as a reliable partner makes it the ideal company for us to work with as we move our Tregitope immune-modulating technology closer to clinical trials. By bringing together our unique knowledge and experience in our respective fields, we look to develop an industry-changing technology that will make significant advancements in treating patients with autoimmune diseases."
Novozymes' albumin-based technology offers significant benefits for delivery of a wide-range of molecules as it has the potential to tailor half-life according to specific medical requirements.