German biotechnology company Topas Therapeutics has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to focus on antigen-specific tolerance induction to tackle anti-drug antibodies (ADA).
The multi-year collaboration and option agreement will involve the development of next-generation vector-based vector therapeutics using Topas’s tolerising nanoparticle technology.
Virus-based delivery vectors are currently used to fight cancer. However, such therapeutics can result in an unwanted immune reaction, preventing repeated use.
Topas’s technology platform induces antigen-specific immune tolerance by harnessing the liver’s natural immunology capabilities. Peptide-loaded nanoparticles mimic bloodborne antigens, selectively target liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, and generate antigen-specific regulatory T cells that suppress unwanted immune reactions.
Topas Therapeutics CEO Timm Jessen said: “This collaboration supports the value and broad applicability of our tolerance induction approach, now comprising the increasingly significant field of novel therapeutics and their precise delivery.
“The high level of interest we have seen in our technology, including this key collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, supports the growing recognition of the importance of tolerance induction in drug development, and we believe will fuel Topas’ future commercial potential.”
Topas will design, apply and produce the tolerising particles and Boehringer will offer its knowledge on antigen and pharmacology to aid the development of tolerance-generating adjuvant candidates.
Boehringer has the option to license various pre-clinical development candidates from the agreement, and will be responsible for their development and commercialisation.
Financial details of the partnership have not been disclosed.