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Pepscan Achieves a Breakthrough With CLIPS Immunogen Technology: Synthetic Peptide Antigen is Able to Induce Fully Functional Antibodies Against a Formerly Intractable GPCR Target CXCR7

LELYSTAD, The Netherlands, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Pepscan reports that it has achieved a major scientific breakthrough through the use of its CLIPS-based synthetic peptide immunogen technology. By constructing synthetic 3D mimics of the ligand binding-site on CXCR7 it has induced functional antibodies against the formerly intractable GPCR target CXCR7. CXCR7 is novel therapeutic target thought to be involved in tumor angiogenesis.

"We are proud and confident with achieving this major breakthrough!" says Professor Rob H. Meloen, Pepscan's founder and Chief Scientific officer. "Since a number of years we have been working on developing our CLIPS technology through which we can synthesize 3D conformational mimics of protein active sites , allowing us to do site-specific immunization to come up with functional antibodies against very difficult targets such as G-protein coupled receptors, as we have now proven with CXCR7." Meloen states that the CLIPS-technology is not limited to application in the GPCR field but also offers possibilities with other therapeutically interesting target such as for instance ion-channels.

Pepscan's Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Peter van Dijken thinks that this technology might unlock a whole new area of interesting therapeutic targets that could so far not be addressed: "One-third of the interesting GPCR targets have proven to be "undrugable" until now. Our CLIPS technology provides a systematic and efficient way to unlock these targets and make them available to antibody therapy, that is a multi-billion dollar playing field to which Pepscan now holds the unique technological key!"

Pepscan indicated today that over the coming period, it will continue to technically and commercially develop its clips-based technology for additional targets and indications.

Therapeutic antibody therapy is well established. Monoclonal antibodies are produced outside the body and administered by infusion (passive immunization). A major stumbling block for immunization is often the inability to generate potent antibodies, especially when the target antigen is complex in nature (GPCR's, ion-channels) or blocked by patents. Pepscan's new and now proven technologies provide an elegant and effective way to arrive at superior immunogens for monoclonals and therapeutic vaccines. Intractable targets are drug targets that would be desirable to address with monoclonal antibodies but are inaccessible with alternative commercially available technologies. This can be due to either it being unavailable as recombinant product (e.g. membrane proteins like GPCRs and ion channels) or the target proteins already being patented. The CLIPS technology makes it possible to derive immunogens from intractable targets that induce antibodies against the native antigen. Ordinary peptides are poor mimics of complex protein structures due to their lack of structure. Pepscan's CLIPSTM technology makes it possible to mimic complex protein domains by presenting one or more amino peptides in a spatially defined conformation. These molecules have proven to be superior in defining discontinuous epitopes. More importantly, CLIPS antigens have now proven to yield antibodies that recognize the protein they are derived from.

Pepscan Therapeutics is a privately owned company based in Lelystad, The Netherlands. Pepscan Therapeutics is wholly owned subsidiary of Pepscan Holding. All fee-for-service activities using Pepscan's technology are handled by Pepscan PRESTO.

SOURCE Pepscan Therapeutics B.V.
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