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BioCellChallenge Obtains Unprecedented In-Vivo Results Using Intracellular Delivery Technology for Therapeutic Antibodies

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BioCellChallenge SAS has announced positive results from in-vivo tests of a therapeutic antibody. The results confirm the efficacy of BioCellChallenge’s ImmunoCellin technology, which allows the antibody to pass through the cell membrane. No toxicity was observed at the administered doses. 

The tests were conducted in 18 animal models, from January through July 2015. They showed that the intracellular delivery of a specific monoclonal antibody directed against the Ras oncoprotein, which is implicated in many cancers, significantly reduces the proliferation of tumor cells. In all cases, the animals’ lives were prolonged by up to 30%. Recovery was observed in 33% of cases. No toxicity-related mortality or inflammation was observed, or any abnormal change in the growth of the animal. 

The therapeutic antibody is specific to a given protein. When it is delivered into the cancer cell, it blocks the function of the protein and weakens or even leads to the death of the cell. The lipid-based formulation encapsulates the antibodies, making it easier for them to pass through the cell membrane. Without an appropriate transport mechanism, the antibodies are unable to cross the plasma membrane of living cells and reach their intracellular targets. The formulation and properties of the BioCellChallenge technology help to deliver the antibodies directly into the cytosol of living cells, with no specific prior preparation and without the need for chemical modification of the antibodies. Antibody activity is not affected in any way. 

“So far, there is no solution for efficiently transporting antibodies into living cells. The existing drugs are largely directed at targets that are on the surface of the cells. Antibodies are proteins that circulate in the blood, remaining outside the cells. In the case of cancers, though, over 90% of the deregulated targets that lead to the disease are inside the cells,” said Dr. Laurent Meunier, founder of BioCellChallenge. “Therapeutic antibody internalization offers huge potential by allowing to reach many new targets.”

 In October 2015 BioCellChallenge sold its reagents business to Eurobio, and is now focused on collaborative projects and out-licensing.

 The next step for the company will be to test the delivery of an Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) which combines an antibody with a cytotoxic component to kill the cancer cell. 

The BioCellChallenge technology offers a new or complementary approach for most ADC antibodies currently in development or already on the market. Delivering the ADC directly into the cytosol would both reduce the required amounts of toxins, and significantly limit their spread throughout the body. For pharmaceutical companies, the use of this technology could help to relaunch some ADC programs. It could also help CROs in optimizing the results of preclinical phases. 

Meet Martine Pillot, managing director of BioCellChallenge, at BioFIT Strasbourg on December 1 and 2, 2015.