Domantis Limited and Argenta Discovery have announced that they have demonstrated the in vivo efficacy of a human Domain Antibody (dAb) in a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) model.
The study demonstrates that inhalation into the lung of a dAb against an inflammatory target provides efficacy compared with current COPD therapy and is at least equivalent to a high dose of an industry standard control drug.
The results mark an important milestone in the development of dAbs for COPD, because they show that dAbs to this inflammatory target can have a profound effect on the disease and that local delivery of the dAb can elicit this profound response.
Further studies are now being conducted to evaluate the dosing regimen as a precursor to the clinical development of this drug candidate, which is expected to commence in 2007. The two companies and are now considering partnering proposals for the product.
Commenting on the breakthrough, Argenta’s Director of Research and Development Dr Mary Fitzgerald, said, “We believe this dAb can become the anti-inflammatory treatment of choice for patients with COPD.”
“Reducing the pulmonary inflammation in COPD should result in a reduction in exacerbation rate and severity and also slow down or halt the decline in lung function associated with the disease.”
“Currently, there are no drugs that effectively reduce inflammation in COPD and thus there is no therapy available to patients that will affect the natural course of this debilitating disease.”
“As an effective anti-inflammatory agent this dAb could therefore bring relief to millions of patients. Furthermore, as the dAb is removed quickly from the bloodstream after leaving the lung, it is likely to have minimal side effects, in marked contrast to the majority of COPD drugs currently in development.”
Domantis Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Ian Tomlinson added, “This study provides further demonstration of the unique product potential for human dAbs.”
“It shows that dAbs can be delivered by inhalation directly to targets in the lung to treat pulmonary disease, something that cannot be achieved effectively using conventional antibodies.”
“We believe Argenta has unique expertise and technology for identifying potent COPD drug candidates and this study validates that belief. We look forward to working with them to take this product into the clinic.”
In October 2004, Argenta and Domantis announced an agreement to co-develop a series of dAb therapeutics to treat respiratory disease using pulmonary delivery.
The ongoing collaboration combines Argenta’s validated system for the evaluation of drug leads with Domantis’ proprietary dAb therapeutics, which are suited to pulmonary delivery due to their small size and remarkable stability.
Under the terms of the agreement both parties share all costs and revenues arising from their alliance.