Zürich-Schlieren, Switzerland, December 12, 2011 -- Covagen announced today that it is entering preclinical development with its first drug candidate, a first-in-class bispecific TNF/IL-17A inhibitor for the treatment of inflammatory
diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This drug candidate comprises an interleukin 17A (IL-17A) neutralizing Fynomer which has been fused to a fully human anti-TNF antibody.
Dragan Grabulovski, CSO of Covagen, said: “Based on the exciting results from our research
and the views of key opinion leaders in rheumatology and psoriasis, we anticipate that
targeting both TNF and IL-17A in RA as well as other inflammatory diseases will provide a
more effective therapy than inhibition of TNF or IL-17A alone.” With its expected efficacy
profile in patients, Covagen’s bispecific TNF/IL-17A inhibitor has the potential to capture a
significant share of the market for TNF blockers. In 2010, global sales of the three most
prescribed TNF inhibitors amounted to USD 22 billion.
Mark Genovese (MD), Professor of Medicine in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology,
Stanford University School of Medicine stated: “I have been following the development of
Covagen’s dual TNF/IL-17A inhibitor with great interest. I believe that simultaneous blockade
of TNF and IL-17A for the treatment of RA and other inflammatory disorders is a highly
For further details, please contact:
Dr. Julian Bertschinger, CEO
Tel: +41 (0) 44 732 46 60
Covagen is a privately held company pioneering the commercialization of
Fynomers as next generation protein drugs to address unmet medical needs in inflammatory
diseases and cancer. Fynomers represent a novel class of protein therapeutics. Due to their
favorable biophysical properties, Fynomers with different binding specificities can be combined
in a single molecule, thus creating drugs with new mechanisms of action. Fynomers are ideally
suited to enhance the potency and functionality of antibodies without compromising the
antibodies' beneficial drug-like properties, and therefore, new biological entities based on
clinically validated antibodies can be created rapidly.