South Korean biotech company Abclon said on Monday it has been granted a U.S. patent on AM201, a next-gen bispecific antibody drug to treat patients with autoimmune diseases.
The new antibody was derived from the company’s bi-antibody platform AffiMab. An antibody is a molecule that specifically binds to a foreign antigen and removes it from the body
Patent registrations for the new molecule are already completed in Korea, Europe and Japan, and the latest U.S. patent underscores its technology novelty and progress, the company said.
AM201 is a new concept next-gen antibody therapy that can neutralize both IL-6 and TNF-α, major inflammatory substances that cause various autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It could be widely applied to diseases associated with cytokine storms driven by the immune system’s overreaction to a foreign antigen like a virus. Cytokine storms may do significant damage to body tissues and organs.
IL-6 and TNF-α are the cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) observed in the lungs of patients with severe COVID-19 and are two known major cytokines that cause cytokine storms.
TNF-α is a proven target substance in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and Humira is a leading TNF-α inhibitor whose annual sales reach about $20 billion.
Anti-IL-6 signaling antibody therapeutics are being developed to overcome the limitations of the single target of TNF-α, with the market led by Roche`s Actemra and Sanofi-Regeneron`s Kevzara.
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