Quebec City, QC, Canada and Val-de-Reuil, Normandy, France, March 10th, 2021
Dr Louis-Philippe Vézina Dr Véronique Gomord (respectively CEO and CSO of Angany), and Pr. Rogier W. Sanders and Dr Marit van Gils of University Medical Centers in Amsterdam (Amsterdam UMC) announce today significant advances made in the accelerated development of a preventive and curative product based on highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (NAbs) against the SARS-CoV-02 virus and its variants.
The new variants are a growing threat. NAbs-based products can be quickly adapted to the evolution of the pandemic. They represent a necessary complement to vaccines, especially in the context of multiplying variants. They can help in 2 ways:
- Curative: to treat patients who are sick or at risk, especially with the emergence of variants;
- Preventive: to protect healthcare workers and first responders against emerging variants or when vaccination coverage has not been established.
“In early spring 2020, we had isolated several monoclonal antibodies from infected patients and had identified two as some of the most potent NAbs in vivo,” says Prof Sanders of Amsterdam UMC. (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6504/643).
“They have since been fully characterized and studies in animal models, including non-human primates, suggest that protection could be achieved with doses lower than 5 mg per kg of body weight and as low as 1mg per kg of body weight in therapeutic and prophylactic settings, respectively” (https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-235272/v1).
In France, Angany’s R&D laboratory has managed to produce these monoclonal antibodies with a plant-based platform initially designed for the manufacturing of a new generation of vaccines against allergies. “The relevance of NAbs as preventive or therapeutic treatments is all about metrics: higher neutralization potency means lower effective doses needed, and directly translates into the capacity to treat a higher number of patients (availability), at a lower cost (affordability), states Dr Gomord. “Angany’s new generation plant-based antibody manufacturing technology is one of the few that can provide the scalability and volume capacity required in the current context, and it is one of the rare options available, if the global community wants to take full advantage of the pivotal impact such NAbs can have on the pandemic crisis”.
Scientists at Amsterdam UMC are on close watch of the evolution of variants. This unique collaboration between Angany and Amsterdam UMC is of strategic importance for the development of Nab-based therapeutics.
“Monoclonal antibody therapeutics are often prepared as a mix (cocktail) of NAbs that can extend their neutralizing capacity to new variants. Lately, at least one new monoclonal with high potency against the South African variant has been identified and others will be,” states Dr Vézina. “With our new generation technology, the turnover time is a matter of weeks. We should be able to include this new NAb in time for the initiation of clinical trials in the next few weeks. We cannot ignore the possibility that new variants will emerge. If we want to prevail over this pending threat, it is essential that the technology we rely upon for the manufacturing of NAbs be able to respond rapidly and with surge capacity. The matter of national autonomy of the production is as important for NAbs as it is for vaccines.”
ANGANY is an emerging, private Franco-Canadian pharmaceutical company dedicated to fighting allergy with a novel approach to immunotherapy. The company is pursuing a mission initiated in France in 2010. Angany’s CEO is Dr Louis-Philippe Vézina, a successful pharma entrepreneur (co-founder and former CSO of one of the largest canadian biotech companies), world renowned for his expertise in the design and production of new generations of vaccines.
Angany’s goal: help people with allergies get their life back. Leveraging over 30 years of research in biotechnology, immunology and vaccinology, and after more than $ 15M of R&D investments, ANGANY has tackled the specific challenges of allergy to invent a new generation of pharmaceutical products. In a world first, ANGANY has developed a first-in-class proprietary vaccine platform based on synthetic biology. With this proprietary self-adjuvanted vector, ANGANY has demonstrated at the preclinical level the possibility of reversing a specific allergy dynamic. Angany is currently preparing a treatment for peanut allergy and products for human allergy to cats.
ANGANY has also developed a flexible, fast and easily scalable 3rd generation plant-based production platform.
ANGANY anticipates that its vaccine platform will eventually find direct applications in domains other than allergy, namely in cancer immunotherapy and in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Angany’s involvement in the fight against COVID -19
The COVID-19 pandemic constituted a call-to-arms for Angany. The company chose to assist by leveraging one specific aspect of its technology: the ability to quickly develop and scale-up the production of monoclonal antibodies. Backed by a prestigious team of researchers, COVID-Nabs can play a pivotal role in resolving the current socio-economic crisis.
Contacts Canada /USA:
Senior Vice-President, Medical and Corporate Affairs, Angany inc.
Director, Angany Innovation SAS