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Aptamer and Kairos Biotech Partner for Optimer+ Transplant Rejection Therapies

Scientist with an assay plate.
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Aptamer Group plc, the developer of novel Optimer® binders to enable innovation in the life sciences industry, today announces the progression of a partnership with Kairos Biotech, an early-stage company developing novel therapeutic solutions for transplant rejection.

As part of this agreement, Kairos Biotech will leverage Aptamer’s new Optimer®+ affinity ligand platform in development of their pipeline of ‘EM’ molecules that specifically target pathways involved in transplant rejection. The approach will improve transplant access for difficult to transplant patients and improve the chances of transplant success.  Additionally, EM molecules can be used for transplant monitoring and improving pre- and post-transplant diagnostics. These novel treatments are targeting an £800 million transplant diagnostic sector and a potential £2 billion transplant immunotherapy market.

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Success in the proof-of-concept project will allow expansion of the collaboration to deliver potentially over a hundred Optimer®+ molecules enabling targeting a greater variety of transplant rejection molecules. There is additional scope for the developed Optimer®+ binders to be used as diagnostic reagents to profile a patient’s immune system before treating them with the tailored therapy.

Kairos Biotech is one of the first partners to undertake fee-for-service projects using Aptamer’s cutting-edge Optimer®+ platform. Adopting this innovative technology to explore potential therapeutic solutions provides Kairos Biotech with access to a new therapeutic modality that can deliver the high affinity and high specificity binders required to meet the complex needs of such large-scale, multi-target therapeutic solutions.

Optimer®+ uses a modified oligonucleotide library to create hybrid DNA-peptide binders engineered with a scaffold structure for stability, ease of manufacturing and engineering. The new binders bridge the gap between traditional aptamers and protein-based affinity ligands, combining the flexibility, manufacturing, and stability benefits of its current technology with the functional diversity and binding capability of a protein.

“We’re delighted to bring our proprietary Optimer®+ platform to support Kairos Biotech in this game-changing theranostic application. Initial animal studies have shown the Optimer®+ binders to be well tolerated for therapeutic approaches, and the exquisite specificity of these binders is ideally suited to such a large-scale diagnostic and therapeutic project. The team at Kairos has an exciting scientific approach to immunosuppression that could offer an improved outlook for transplant patients, and we look forward to working with them to advance this using Optimer®+.” Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Technical Officer of Aptamer Group


“We are excited to work with Aptamer Group combining their Optimer®+ platform with our novel bioengineering approaches in transplant diagnostics and targeted immunosuppression. The Optimer®+ platform is expected to deliver real advantages in developing our pipeline of immune targeted molecules which in turn will help improve transplant success in the future.” Dr Mike Bunce, Chief Executive Officer at Kairos Biotech Ltd