Immutep granted Japanese patent for immunosuppressive antibody  

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.  

Official comments  

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.”  

References  

1: https://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2020/01/04/jimmunol.1900823 

2: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41390-021-01588-2  

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