Novozymes and EpiVax to develop autoimmune diseases treatment

Will combine Albufuse half-life extension platform with EpiVax Tregitope therapy

Artist impression showing indicative albumin recycling process. Copyright: Novozymes 2012

Novozymes Biopharma has agreed a collaborative research agreement with Rhode Island-based biotech company, EpiVax, to help further the development of a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases. No financial details have been revealed.

The agreement will involve linking EpiVax’s proprietary Tregitope (T regulatory epitopes) immune-modulating therapy for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes to Novozymes’ proven Albufuse half-life extension platform, helping to enhance its pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. As a result, it will be possible to modulate half-life of the therapy to offer improved control, enhancing the overall efficacy of treatment.

‘The two technologies jointly have a role to play in a wide range of treatments for autoimmune diseases,’ says Dave Mead, Business Development Director at Novozymes Biopharma.

‘By taking EpiVax’s pioneering therapy and combining it with Novozymes’ versatile and clinically demonstrated Albufuse technology, we will work together to move the treatment to the next stage in its development.’

EpiVax has identified a set of natural Tregitopes derived from Immunoglobulin G (IgG) that induce tolerance to immunogenic proteins. Preliminary studies in the area of Type 1 diabetes have indicated that Tregitopes specifically induce natural Tregs and, when co-administered with an antigen, lead to the expansion of antigen-specific regulatory T cells. Modulation of auto-immune responses to autologous epitopes by induction of antigen-specific tolerance may prevent ongoing beta-cell destruction and restore the production of insulin. The companies say that combining EpiVax’s therapy with Novozymes’ Albufuse technology will create a safe and effective platform for application of tregitopes to multiple autoimmunity, transplantation and allergy conditions.

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