AvantGen Receives Milestone Payment for First Patient Dosed in Phase 1 Study with Kite’s Investigational CAR-T Therapy

AvantGen Receives Milestone Payment for First Patient Dosed in Phase 1 Study with Kite’s Investigational CAR-T Therapy

SAN DIEGO, CA, UNITED STATES, March 4, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — AvantGen Inc., a leader in antibody discovery and engineering, announced today that it has received the first milestone payment from Kite, a Gilead Company, for the achievement of the first patient dosed in the first Phase 1 clinical trial of a novel CAR-T construct targeting human CD19 that is also engineered to express IL18. This construct was developed in a collaboration between Kite and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).

“This achievement further demonstrates the power and efficiency of our antibody discovery platform in advancing antibody-based therapeutics,”

— Xiaomin Fan, Ph.D., President and CEO of AvantGen
The Phase 1 open-label, dose-finding clinical study is initially focused on a single disease-specific cohort of subjects with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NCT05989204) and is being conducted by Penn as the regulatory sponsor.

This achievement showcases the application of AvantGen’s innovative approach to antibody discovery for CAR-T research and development. The approach utilized AvantGen’s proprietary Germliner™ human antibody discovery platform to identify and develop novel CD19 antibodies, one of which is incorporated into the investigational CAR-T therapy. These antibodies, characterized by their high developability, expand the scope of CD19-binders under development as potential CAR-T therapies.

“We are thrilled to reach this milestone resulting from our agreement with Kite. This achievement further demonstrates the power and efficiency of our antibody discovery platform in advancing antibody-based therapeutics,” said Xiaomin Fan, Ph.D., President and CEO of AvantGen.

Under the terms of the agreement, AvantGen may be eligible for future milestone and royalty payments if the therapy continues towards commercialization. This achievement highlights AvantGen’s technologies and mission to advance the field of antibody-mediated therapy.

AvantGen conducted this work under an agreement with Tmunity Therapeutics. Kite acquired Tmunity in 2023.

About AvantGen:

AvantGen, Inc. is a pioneering biotechnology company dedicated to accelerating antibody-based therapeutics for their scientific partners by using innovative antibody discovery and optimization platforms. AvantGen’s platforms include a robust and novel yeast display system, a large natural human antibody database, and an expanding collection of yeast displayed fully human antibody libraries representing over 200 billion clones in various formats.

For more information about AvantGen and its innovative work, please visit www.avantgen.com.

University of Pennsylvania Financial Disclosure: Penn has received and may receive in the future, sponsored research funding and certain intellectual property license-related payments from Kite Pharma.

Jordon Wang, Ph.D., COO and SVP of Technology Development
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faq Want to learn more?

  • Why Yeast?

    Yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae aka brewer’s yeast to be exact, has the best of both worlds as a model organism for drug discovery. In selecting the right model, two opposing factors are: 1) finding an organism that can be used cost-effectively and ethically, and 2) being physiologically relevant by having it as similar as humans, the intended patients. This is where yeast has all the advantages: 1) it is unicellular, grows incredibly fast at a doubling rate of 90 minutes, and is easy and safe (non-pathogenic) to culture, meanwhile 2) as a eukaryote it can properly express, fold, and glycosylate proteins such as antibodies similar to mammals.

  • Yeast is “similar” but not the same as in humans with regards to post-translation modification (PTM) of proteins such as glycosylation?

    Correct, there are slight differences in the PTM profiles of proteins expressed in yeast versus mammals. However, we recombinantly express our lead antibodies in HEK293 or CHO cells and rarely observe a loss in activity. This is in stark contrast with E. coli-based systems like phage or cell-free, where bacteria lack protein glycosylation machinery.

  • Is affinity maturation required after using one of your platforms?

    Due to our large size rationally-designed Germliner™ library collection coupled with our rapid cell sorting based screening, we consistently obtain single-digit and subnM affinity antibodies with optimal developable characteristics. Interestingly, our popular AvantGeneer affinity maturation platform has been frequently used to optimize client antibodies that were originally discovered with hybridoma and human transgenic mouse platforms.

  • My target is a GPCR. Will your platform work?

    We have had success with multi-transmembrane proteins such as GPCRs, by using virus-like-particles (VLPs), nanodiscs, and client-designed variants with increased solubility.

  • What materials should I provide?

    We typically use various amounts of biotinylated, DyLight™ 650 conjugated, and unlabeled antigens for all projects. It’s important that both labeled and unlabeled antigens are QC’ed by provider, third party, and/or AvantGen. >0.5 mg/mL concentration, >80% monomer percentage, and >90% purity. Preferred buffer is PBS and no tris-based buffers please.

    Estimated Material Amounts*

    Application Stage Discovery Affinity Maturation Rabbit mAb
    All stages 1.5-2 mg biotinylated or 2-3 mg unlabeled 0.5 mg biotinylated or 1 mg unlabeled 2 mg unlabeled and 1 mg biotinylated
    FACS and screening 0.5-1 mg biotinylated or 1-2 mg unlabeled 0.2-0.5 mg biotinylated or 0.5-1 mg unlabeled 1 mg biotinylated and 0.2 mg unlabeled
    Screening only 0.2 mg biotinylated or 0.2-0.5 mg unlabeled 0.2 mg biotinylated or 0.2-0.5 mg unlabeled 0.2-0.5 mg unlabeled

    *Assuming 50 kDa antigen. AvantGen can bioconjugate and QC as needed.

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