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arGEN-X Awarded €1.5 Million IWT Grant to Accelerate Pre-Clinical Antibody Development

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arGEN-X BV, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of therapeutic human antibodies (mAbs), has announced that it has received a €1.5 million grant from the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT).

This grant will be used to accelerate pre-clinical development of the lead program, ARGX-109 and two further therapeutic mAb programs. All three mAb candidates originated from arGEN-X’s proprietary SIMPLE Antibody™ platform and are being developed by the Company to target the inflammation/oncology space.

Today’s award is the second grant that arGEN-X has received from the IWT. In October 2009, the Company received €1.3 million to develop and validate the SIMPLE Antibody™ platform, a pioneering approach to therapeutic human mAb generation.

In less than a year, the SIMPLE Antibody™ platform has demonstrated phenomenal productivity as a discovery engine, yielding therapeutic grade mAbs with highly differentiated functional attributes. SIMPLE Antibody™ candidates have unprecedented functional diversity against soluble, cell surface and highly conserved targets. Importantly, these mAbs do not require time-consuming engineering to ensure their gold standard affinities and potencies.

The power of the SIMPLE Antibody™ approach has allowed arGEN-X to progress its research porfolio into pre-clinical development in record time. Its most advanced mAb candidate ARGX-109 has ultra-high potency against IL-6, a cytokine playing an important role in autoimmune, inflammation and oncology indications.

arGEN-X’s two other development programs also address targets of high functional relevance in inflammation and oncology. All SIMPLE Antibody™ candidates developed by arGEN-X to date show outstanding manufacturability, effectively reducing the transition time from discovery to development.

Prof. Dr. Hans de Haard, CSO of arGEN-X commented: “Today’s news highlights the  power of our proprietary SIMPLE Antibody™ platform when compared to established human antibody technologies. Having already successfully validated the platform, we will apply this second IWT grant to the pre-clinical development of our lead product candidate ARGX-109 and drive forward two further therapeutic programs. Our rapid evolution and progress has reinforced our confidence in our technology’s ability to tranform the human therapeutic antibody landscape.”