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arGEN-X Identifies Potent Antibody Antagonists against Complex Chronic Pain Target Nav1.7

BREDA, the Netherlands and GHENT, Belgium, September 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Breakthrough data to be presented during the 'Discovery on Target' conference in Boston, MA, USA on September 23, 2013

arGEN-X, a clinical stage human monoclonal antibody therapeutics company, announces it has successfully generated potent antibody antagonists of Nav1.7, using its proprietary SIMPLE Antibody™ technology.

Nav1.7 has been thoroughly validated as a therapeutic target in chronic pain, yet no antibody-based antagonists have been developed to date. Drugs targeting ion channels such as Nav1.7 require exquisite target selectivity and specificity to avoid unwanted side effects, which makes antibodies a preferred and highly desirable class of drug.

Using the SIMPLE Antibody™ platform, arGEN-X scientists have isolated a diverse panel of human Nav1.7-specific antibodies that possess such selectivity and lack cross-reactivity with related Nav family members. Several antibody candidates tested in in vitro electrophysiology assays have been shown to potently antagonize the function of the channel. Further specificity analysis reveals a subset of functional antibody clones capable of recognizing the rodent ortholog of the target, enabling in vivo pharmacology studies.

arGEN-X's Nav1.7 research program has been supported by a grant of €1.3 million awarded by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT), specifically to enable arGEN-X to leverage SIMPLE Antibody™ into challenging disease targets.

"This is a very important antibody discovery success for arGEN-X" said Hans de Haard, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of arGEN-X. "By delivering potent antagonists of a target as complex as Nav1.7, SIMPLE Antibody™ has exceeded all our expectations. Once again, our technology platform has enabled us to generate novel antibody leads against a complex and high value target, confirming its huge potential in the dynamic therapeutic antibody space. We are eager to broaden this campaign in partnership now and progress our most promising leads into development."

Professor de Haard will present the Nav1.7 program for the first time in public forum in an arGEN-X-sponsored platform presentation at the 11th Annual 'Discovery on Target' conference, Boston, MA, USA (September 24-26, 2013). The presentation will showcase the attributes of SIMPLE Antibody™ in addressing the most challenging, high value targets in disease.

About arGEN-X -

arGEN-X is a clinical stage human therapeutic antibody company that is rapidly developing a product pipeline using its unique suite of antibody technologies. arGEN-X is creating first and best in class antibody therapeutics with highly differentiated target product profiles. Its therapeutic antibody programs, focused on cancer and autoimmune indications, are designed to deliver tangible benefits to patients with these diseases.

arGEN-X's SIMPLE Antibody™ platform generates an unprecedented diversity of high quality human antibodies, enabling optimal product choice. SIMPLE Antibodies™ are able to address and modulate any disease target, including complex receptors such as GPCRs and ion channels and highly conserved targets that are often intractable with other antibody technologies. SIMPLE Antibody™ generated leads are further differentiated as products through enhancement of cell killing properties (POTELLIGENT®, licensed from BioWa Inc.) and optimization of circulation time and distribution in the body (NHance™). arGEN-X is also developing ABDEG™ technology, to potentiate the clearance of disease-causing autoantibodies.

In January 2013, arGEN-X initiated a Phase Ib clinical trial for ARGX-110, its most advanced SIMPLE Antibody™ program modulating CD70 via a unique mode of action in hematological and virally-induced solid tumors. A second CTA for ARGX-111, a novel anti-c-Met antibody to treat diverse solid tumors, is being filed in September 2013.

The SIMPLE Antibody™ platform is covered by broad patent claims, enjoys an independent, unencumbered patent position and is free of target gatekeeping restrictions.

SIMPLE stands for Superior Immunodiversity with Minimal Protein Lead Engineering.

arGEN-X™, SIMPLE Antibody™ and NHance™ are deposited trademarks of arGEN-X BV.

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