PALO ALTO, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, a therapeutic antibody company, announced today that it has exclusively in-licensed a preclinical therapeutic antibody lead and its commensurate intellectual property for the clinically relevant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The antibody was developed by a team of researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and the University of California, San Francisco. Multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas is one of the most serious and difficult hospital-acquired infections to treat and affects patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, low white cell counts, burns and diabetic ulcers. The monoclonal antibody has a unique target mechanism, neutralizing the action of the PcrV protein of the type III secretion system thereby inhibiting a key disease-causing process of Pseudomonas. Importantly, because the target mechanism is different from that of other antibiotics, cross-resistance is not observed. Independent research from two groups published in the Journal of Infectious Disease in 2001 and Critical Care Medicine in 2002 directly link the expression of the type III secretion system to poor clinical outcome in Pseudomonas lung infections. There are approximately 665,000 patients placed on ventilators in the United States each year and approximately 200,000 develop pneumonia. The additional patient costs associated with pneumonia in the intensive care unit is $40,000/patient. KaloBios is using its proprietary antibody technology to engineer a high affinity human antibody against the PcrV protein that is more potent than the original mouse antibody. The company expects to complete the antibody engineering work by mid-2004 and to enter a lead compound into IND Track development at that time. "We are happy that UCSF and the Medical college have both entrusted KaloBios with the development of this potentially valuable drug. It fits perfectly into the profile of KaloBios' pipeline, where our technology can rapidly generate human antibodies from rodent antibodies that have excellent preclinical validation," said Dr. Geoffrey Yarranton, CEO of KaloBios. The antibody will be used as both a prophylactic and as a treatment for Pseudomonas infections in ventilator-associated pneumonia and cystic fibrosis patients. "We are excited with KaloBios' capability to engineer and move this drug to the clinic as quickly as possible. People need new approaches to treat infections by this formidable and versatile pathogen," said one of the discoverers of the antibody, Jeanine Wiener-Kronish MD, Professor of Anesthesiology at UCSF. The company believes that the application of its technology platform that enables the rapid generation of high potency human antibodies and its strategy for producing products cost-effectively will make this drug a financial success. About KaloBios KaloBios uses its unique and proprietary technologies for the development of its pipeline of antibody therapeutics. Such uses include de novo discovery of high-affinity human antibodies, as well as humanization and optimization of antibodies and other therapeutic proteins with respect to many pharmacologically important properties. To fully leverage the value of its technology platform, KaloBios is becoming vertically integrated, with the capability to discover, engineer and develop clinically relevant antibodies and protein therapeutics. For more information, visit www.kalobios.com.
SOURCE KaloBios Pharmaceuticals