French pharmaceutical group Pierre Fabre has signed a manufacturing agreement with Swiss manufacturing company for pharma, biotech and nutrition industries, Lonza, for W0180 antibody drug product. 

Discovered by Pierre Fabre, W0180 is a monoclonal antibody that acts on the V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell Activation (VISTA) checkpoint.

A negative checkpoint regulator of T cell response, VISTA is expressed within the tumour microenvironment, where its hindering can boost antitumor immune responses.

It is presently being analysed as monotherapy and along with pembrolizumab in a Phase I clinical trial for various solid tumours.

Under the partnership, Lonza will offer cGMP drug product (DP) manufacturing services for clinical supply from its fill and finish site in Stein, Switzerland.

Pierre Fabre will utilise drug product capabilities and fill and finish expertise of Lonza.

The ability of Lonza to offer manufacturing services and drug product development extends new solutions to customers and the potential to deliver quality products for use in clinical applications.

Pierre Fabre Medical Care CEO Jean-Luc Lowinski said: “We are delighted to entrust the production of the W0180 Drug Product to Lonza. Its Drug Product Services are well-suited for our innovative therapy manufacturing needs.

“W0180 will be manufactured in Lonza’s GS Xceed Expression CHO System, also successfully used for the IGF1R and cMet antibodies discovered by Pierre Fabre.”

In November last year, Pierre Fabre and Ribonexus entered an exclusive licence agreement on a series of the former’s patented small molecules that act on the Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A (eIF4A). 

This target is highly expressed in various solid and hematologic cancers, including melanoma, and is linked to resistance to various existing current therapies.