Netherlands-based biotechnology company argenx and Broteio Pharma, a joint venture between Prothix and Bioceros, have agreed to partner for the development of a therapeutic antibody for severe autoimmune diseases.

The antibody will be developed against a novel target in the complement cascade with therapeutic potential in auto-antibody-mediated and complement-mediated indications, including autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) and antibody mediated rejection (AMR) after organ transplantation.

Argenx CEO Tim Van Hauwermeiren said: “The novel antibody targets a component of the complement cascade with therapeutic potential in both orphan and large market indications like Ischemia / Reperfusion Injuries (IRI).

“This new therapeutic antibody has the potential to act alongside our lead product candidate ARGX-113 in a synergistic fashion.

“This new therapeutic antibody has the potential to act alongside our lead product candidate ARGX-113 in a synergistic fashion.”

“ARGX-113 targets FcRn in order to clear pathogenic IgG antibodies while our new complement-targeted antibody can also address IgM mediated autoimmune diseases.”

Both companies will jointly work to develop the antibody to establish preclinical proof-of-concept using argenx’s suite of technologies.

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After completion of the studies, argenx may exercise an exclusive option to licence the programme and take up responsibility for further development and commercialisation.

argenx will use its innovative access programme (IAP) to serially collaborate with academic experts and small biotech companies and bring antibody discovery technologies to the heart of new target research.

Partners can use argenx’s technologies to develop antibodies to help validate novel targets, while argenx will receive early access to these targets in return.