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Developing highly-specific antibody-based immunotherapies which activate and direct the defences of a patient's own immune system: Biotecnol

Developing highly-specific antibody-based immunotherapies which activate and direct the defences of a patient's own immune system: Biotecnol

Immunotherapy is the use of the body’s natural defences to fight disease. And immuno-oncology is a type of immunotherapy that is specifically targeted to fight cancer. How does immuno-oncology work? Immuno-oncology works by stimulating our immune system to fight back, when it wouldn’t usually be able to.

Biotecnol is working in this field of immuno-oncology and is using proprietary antibody-based technologies to engineer and develop highly- targeted therapeutic products which utilize a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. These powerful approaches are based on directing or modulating a patient's own T-Cells or NK-Cells to kill the tumours. These T and NK white blood cells are the most potent killing-cells of the human immune system.  Other strategies being developed by Biotecnol, include means to modulate key immune-checkpoint regulators for manipulating endogenous anti-tumour immunity, again using the patient's own immune-system.

Biotecnol engineers Tribody™ molecules, which are multi-specific antibody products i.e. highly specific and highly directed molecules with more than one function. As a result a Tribody™ molecule is characterized by an unsurpassed versatility and ease of manipulation; they are engineered to incorporate up to three different specific binding sites  which when assembled, can combine different immunological and targeting function. For example they have the ability to recruit potent immune-effector cells like T-cells or NK-cells whilst retaining the ability to direct them to the tumour by target with high precision, more than one "epitope", (which is a binding site in a tumor cell), or more than one target antigen (a biological marker expressed by a cancer cell) in the same tumor, all with one single molecule. These approaches are powerful tools to address the treatment of highly heterogeneous and highly aggressive tumours.

The company’s efforts and resources are focused on the generation of a high-value proprietary pipeline of immune-oncology drugs to treat cancers with high unmet-need.

Clinical research in oncology has evolved significantly over the last 5 years. Novel protocols using combination therapies of a variety of novel biological and traditional chemical agents have shown great promise in managing survival in cancer patients. Biotecnol’s strategy is to work with top cancer institutions in the immune-oncology field which will help the company to accelerate the development of cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to fight cancer, especially in solid tumours, an area which is in great demand for effective products.

Trisoma® Platform

Trisoma® is a high-throughput, powerful and well-controlled platform based on proprietary methods and protocols for generating and characterizing a Tribody™ candidate drug substance. The Trisoma® platform is used for the assembly, engineering and testing of various Tribody™ molecules with various distinct properties under various structural formats with optimal stability and desired pharmacological properties in terms of bioavailabity.

Under the Trisoma® platform, Biotecnol has developed a novel format known as "Targeted T-cell Engaging Agonistic Response Modifiers" or iChecks™. These products aim at improving tumour cell dependent T-cell or NK-cell activation. The iCheck™ formats are expected to achieve a more localized immune-function activation and obtain less or no systemic toxicity, whilst having an increased therapeutic index. These are potentially safer and more effective drugs for treating highly-heterogeneous and highly-aggressive solid tumours.

Biotecnol is constantly improving on the engineering of the Trisoma® platform and its associated technology in order to build new intellectual property and optimize the characteristics of such versatile Tribody™ derived molecules.

Tribody™ Technology

The Tribody ™ technology enables the generation of multi-specific antibody products. This unique technology overcomes the key shortcomings of conventional mono- as well as of currently developed bi-specific antibody formats. With the Tribody™ technology, Biotecnol can engineer and assemble recombinant antibodies in a rational manner in order to design a chosen mechanism of action to address the killing of a specific tumour type. An anti-CD3 antibody which binds the T-cells is engineered in the Tribody™ "scaffold" where additional tumour antigens are also engineered. The Tribody™ then crosslinks  tumour antigens and T-cells to initiate the tumour-cell killing process.

Tribody™ molecules are generated via the natural in vivo heterodimerization of Fab fragments to form a scaffold (the process carried out in just one reaction in vivo and there is no chemical nor any other means of conjugation nor attachment), upon which three specific antibodies are incorporated. The resulting molecules are stable and easy to produce in a single batch, without the need of additional post-production reactions other than purification. Tribodies are successfully produced in standard mammalian cell technology (CHO technology) using well-established methods.

Meet the Expert

Pedro de Noronha Pissarra, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer: Pedro has over 20 years of experience in the Biotechnology Industry and his entrepreneurial activities are internationally acknowledged. Pedro has built over the years an extensive track-record in growing early stage projects in healthcare.

Pedro holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from Kings College London (University of London). He carried out research at several institutions, including the Chemical Engineering Department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), Cambridge, USA and at the Centre for Process Biotechnology (CPB) of the Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark. Following his Doctoral degree he specialized in medical sciences and oncology. After his Postdoctoral training he undertook a 12 month Masters Programme in Management at the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas, Austin, USA.

“We are using proprietary antibody-based technologies to engineer and develop highly- targeted therapeutic products which utilize a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.”

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