Biotechnology company Immutep has been a granted a patent for its immunosuppressive antibody by the Japanese Patent Office.
Immutep’s IMP761 is an immunosuppressive agonist antibody to LAG-3 – a cell surface molecule which plays a role in regulating T cell function, and which has been identified as a new immune-checkpoint.
Immutep is looking to use IMP761 to address the root cause of autoimmune disease through its function to silence autoimmune memory T cells that accumulate at the disease site and which express LAG-3 as an “exhaustion marker.
Immutep reported pre-clinical results from its studies with IMP761 in 2019, showing that it decreases inflammatory T cell infiltration induced by intra-dermal injection of an antigen.1 More so, follow up studies in 2021 show that IMP761 decreased effector T cell cytokine secretion.2
Immutep has how appointed Northway Biotech to develop a GMP compliant manufacturing process and to manufacture IMP761 in large scale bioreactors, ahead of the commencement of clinical testing of the candidate in autoimmune diseases.
Immutep CEO, Marc Voigt said: “We continue to take important steps to protect our pre-clinical candidate IMP761, which is the first product candidate to act as a LAG-3 agonist, a novel mechanism of drug action that we believe can act directly to treat the root cause of autoimmune diseases. Of course, the LAG-3 immune control mechanism has attracted a great deal of attention in recent months because of the approval by the FDA of the first LAG-3 related product in immuno-oncology. With deep expertise in LAG-3 biology, four LAG- 3 product candidates in development, and a comprehensive patent estate, Immutep is well placed to make important contributions to this rapidly emerging field of immunotherapy – in both cancer and autoimmune diseases.”
Immutep CSO and CMO, Dr. Frederic Triebel added: “We have been making good progress in advancing IMP761 towards clinical testing and, in recent months, have been working closely with Northway Biotech to develop a GMP compliant manufacturing process using the cell line developed by Batavia BioSciences. It is also good to see continued progress in building our patent estate around this innovative LAG-3 candidate.”