Study proves efficacy of protein conjugate in autoimmune disease

Interleukin-2 conjugate

VALANX Biotech has reported successful in vivo results in its lead programme VLX101 for the treatment of a range of autoimmune diseases.

The findings demonstrate the potential of VLX101, a novel Interleukin-2 conjugate and the efficacy of the therapeutic approach.

Protein drugs hold great promise as therapeutics for a wide range of diseases, however, one of the greatest challenges is their short circulation half-life.

Several protein conjugation strategies have been explored for half-life extension with PEGylation being the most common. While the large size of the PEG polymer can decrease renal filtration, the bulk of the PEG polymer can also reduce its potency and lead to side effects.

VALANX is researching and developing protein expression systems that allow its own synthetic amino acids to be incorporated into any protein at freely selectable positions in multiple copies.

Leveraging click chemistry, the modified proteins can be quickly and reliably combined with other molecular units to create novel biotherapeutics precisely defined in terms of molecular composition.

Michael Lukesch, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at VALANX Biotech commented: “These promising in vivo results represent a significant milestone for VALANX Biotech and are testament to the dedication and expertise of our team. We are thrilled by the potential of our lead programme to address the complexities of autoimmune diseases and look forward to advancing VLX101 through clinical development.

“With other PEGylated conjugates of Interleukin-2 having failed in development, our novel and proprietary non-PEGs conjugation approach highlights the promise of Interleukin-2. The study is an important validation of our novel site-specific protein conjugation approach and shows the potential of the platform in developing promising clinical candidates.”

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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