Arsanis Licenses Preclinical E. Col Monoclonal Antibodies


Shares of Arsanis, Inc. are inching up this afternoon following the company’s announcement of a licensing deal with Austria-based BB100, LLC, a subsidiary of Bravos Biosciences.

The stock hit $24.33 per share, which is short of the all-time high of $26.03 it hit back in March. Arsanis, a company focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies against bacterial and viral diseases, went public in November.

Today the company announced the deal with BB100. Arsanis said BB100 secured an exclusive, worldwide preclinical development license to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting E. coli. Those antibodies were discovered by Arsanis in its ASN200 program, which is what BB100 now has rights to.

Arsanis’ ASN200, which currently in preclinical development for E. coli, includes the monoclonal antibody, ASN-4. That mAb has “multiple modes of action against the hyper-virulent, multi-drug resistant E. coli,” Arsanis said. ASN-4 is directly bactericidal and provides anti-inflammatory effects without the need for innate immune cells, the company said. As a result, ASN200 has the potential to be beneficial even in immunocompromised patients, Arsanis noted. In addition, ASN-4 has been demonstrated to potentiate the activity of antibiotics, potentially minimizing the use of last-line antibiotics with less favorable toxicity profiles.

Early research has shown ASN-4 to be highly potent. The mAb elicited a “high level of protection at very low doses” in animal models. The company believes it has the potential to be used for both prevention of disease and treatment of patients with serious infections, including those in whom antibiotics have failed.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the company’s announcement. However, Rene Russo, chief executive officer of Arsanis, said the transaction will allow the Waltham, Mass.-based company to continue the “focused execution” of its ongoing ASN100 Phase 2 clinical trial. Additionally, the deal will provide for the continued advancement of its mAbs program targeting E. coli.

ASN100, is aimed at serious Staphylococcus aureus infections and is being evaluated in a Phase II clinical trial for the prevention of S. aureus pneumonia in high-risk, mechanically ventilated patients. Additionally, the company has a preclinical pipeline is comprised of mAbs targeting multiple serious bacterial and viral pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus.

Details of the deal between the two companies were light. Arsanis said it has granted BB100 the exclusive right to conduct further preclinical development activities on licensed mAbs, with an option to enter into an exclusive global development and commercial license. Beyond that, the company only said it was pleased that BB100, a company “globally recognized as a leader in anti-infective drug development” will use its assets.

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