EpiVax Inc., an unique immunology company with a strong focus on immunogenicity mitigation and BioAtla, LLC, a San Diego headquartered antibody therapeutics developer, today announced a collaborative agreement to incorporate EpiVax's proprietary immunogenicity screening technology into BioAtla's antibody Express Humanization™ platform.
EpiVax specializes in immunogenicity screening for protein therapeutics, immunogenicity mitigation and T cell-driven vaccine design, using a suite of proprietary in silico tools. These tools are based on the extensively validated EpiMatrix system. Their ISPRI-HT (for high-throughput) in silico analysis screens and triages large numbers of antibodies for overall and relative immunogenic potential and identifies lower risk candidates to move forward. The EpiMatrix prediction has been shown in prospective studies (and retrospective studies) to correlate with clinical immunogenicity. EpiMatrix is the only screening system that takes into consideration Tregitopes (T regulatory epitopes), a unique EpiVax discovery that is associated with regulatory T cell induction (see website for Tregitope publications).
BioAtla's proprietary Express Humanization™ entails synthesizing a combinatorial library of non-human target monoclonal antibodies fused in frame to a validated collection of human frameworks, and screening for binding, function and expression. Unlike more traditional approaches such as CDR grafting, this powerful approach allows for the selection of the most favorable combinations of fully human frameworks in terms of maintaining, and improving, the binding activity of the parental antibody without the need to make back mutations. In addition, these antibodies are uniquely selected human therapeutics since they are simultaneously screened for expression (see CIAO!™) and other targeted characteristics with an elite set of expressed human frameworks selected in the manufacturing host.
The addition of EpiVax high-throughput EpiMatrix (ISPRI-HT) analysis to the clone selection from BioAtla's Express Humanization™ platform expands the functional selectivity of BioAtla's unique expression-based humanization process by providing the third level clone selection criterion for developing human antibody therapeutics – immunogenicity. This rapid and powerful process is expected to increase the success rate of biotherapeutics relative to other technologies where downstream failures cost the industry millions of dollars and years of additional development time.
Dr. Annie De Groot, CEO/CSO of EpiVax said, "This collaboration brings two best-in-class technologies together to serve the needs of the biologics industry. Integration of EpiMatrix into the BioAtla platform will increase the likelihood of successful clinical development."