Based on its recent analysis of the therapeutic antibody engineering market, Frost & Sullivan recognises argenx N.V. with the 2016 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation. argenx’s SIMPLE Antibody™ discovery platform is a huge improvement on conventional antibody discovery platforms because it yields an unprecedented epitope coverage, allowing to interact with the disease biology in a much more precise manner. The application diversity of the platform enables it to generate a wide array of antibodies for different types of cancer and autoimmune disorders.
Significantly, argenx developed its proprietary antibodies by assessing the VH and VL domains found in the Camelidae family. Unlike chimeric antibodies, an extensive structural homology is present between the hypervariable loops of the VH and VL domains found in camelids and the ones found in humans. These rather surprising, yet unique, aspects of conventional antibodies from Camelidae have allowed argenx to engineer them into therapeutic antibodies.
“argenx’s ‘humanised’ monoclonal antibody can minimise the immunogenicity of the drug in the patient, the platform can be used to create a host of unique therapeutic antibodies for disease areas that currently lack treatment options” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Madhumitha Rangesa. “One of the main application areas of argenx’s antibodies is cancer, and it has already achieved an impressive degree of success through therapeutic classes such as cancer immunotherapies.”
argenx’s leading drug candidates in cancer therapy include the ARGX-110, a SIMPLE Antibody™ specifically used for T-cell lymphoma (TCL), renal cell carcinoma, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma. While ARGX-110 has presented promising safety profiles in these solid tumour and blood cancer indications, it is mainly aimed at TCL.
The next drug candidate is ARGX-111, which is mainly meant for MET amplified cancers. argenx is also working on the ARGX-115 for a variety of cancer indications and the ARGX-113, which is only being used for the treatment of autoimmune disorders (specifically orphan diseases such as systemic lupus and myasthenia gravis). All these drug candidates are still in the early pipeline phase. Through its partnered projects, the application areas have expanded from cancer immunotherapy and autoimmune diseases to skin inflammation.
“Another visionary innovation by argenx is a series of Fc engineering complementary technology platforms such as NHance®. This proprietary approach is associated with specific mutations that are present in the Fc region of the antibody,” noted Rangesa. “NHance® can potentially prolong a typical half-life and thereby, reduce the dosage requirements for the patient, making the entire treatment more cost-effective and shorter. NHance® does not affect the immunogenicity and the ease of manufacturing of the antibodies, ensuring there are no adverse effects due to its use.”
Similarly, argenx’s ABDEG™ technology focuses on a known mechanism that enhances immunoglobulin G (IgG) recycling. By re-engineering the Fc region of IgG, the activity of the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) that gets bound to the IgG can have a higher affinity and a lack of pH dependence on FcRn. This reduces the IgG levels, and is highly effective when used in diseases that are mediated through IgG levels. This way, IgG can be cleared from the patient through the antibodies that are created to treat them.
The company’s intellectual property covers its lead ARGX-110 and ARGX-111 drug candidates. The projection for patent expiry is currently 2032, with a five-year patent term extension, giving the company opportunities to effectively market its future drug candidates.
Additionally, the superior quality of the platform and capabilities of the antibodies have attracted partnerships from leading pharmaceutical companies. It has employed a joint risk model with Abbvie, Leo Pharmaceuticals, Shire, and Bayer to support antibody therapeutics. argenx has also designed a unique business model called the Innovative Access Program (IAP), through which it has been pushing the frontiers in the space of cancer immunotherapy.
Overall, with the launch of its cutting-edge SIMPLE Antibody™ technology, argenx has raised the bar for innovation in the therapeutic antibody engineering market.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of the new products and applications. The award lauds the high R&D spent towards innovation, its relevance to the industry, and the positive impact on brand perception.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About argenx N.V.
argenx (argenx.com) combines the diversity of the llama immune system with antibody engineering to advance a clinical pipeline to treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Our platforms allow us to unlock novel and complex targets and develop antibody-based drugs designed for greater efficacy and longer duration of effect. The strength of our team, our deep understanding of the biology, and our committed collaborations with industry leaders contribute to the success of our journey. argenx is listed on the Euronext Brussels exchange under the symbol ARGX.
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