Newly Formed Lanier Biotherapeutics Enters into License Agreement with Alloy Therapeutics
Agreement Marks the Official Launch of Lanier, a Georgia-Based Biopharmaceutical Company Developing a Robust Portfolio of First-in-Class Antibody Candidates
BOGART, Ga., Oct. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lanier Biotherapeutics Inc., (“Lanier” or the “Company”), a developer of first-in-class antibodies targeting retina, dermatology, and Type 2 Inflammatory specialty diseases, today announced that it has entered into a license agreement (the “Agreement”) with Alloy Therapeutics (“Alloy”), a privately held drug discovery company.
Alloy will acquire the AbeoMouse™ and Direct Selection of Hybridomas (DiSH™) antibody discovery technologies, which were originally developed by Abeome Corporation, Inc. (“Abeome”), one of Lanier’s two predecessor companies. Upon closing of the Agreement, Alloy will license to Lanier certain rights to AbeoMouse™ and Alloy’s ATX-Gx™ platform of proprietary transgenic mouse strains.
“We are pleased to enter into this mutually beneficial Agreement, which provides both companies with access to enabling antibody discovery technologies while augmenting our development pipeline and further strengthening our balance sheet,” said Kirby Alton, Lanier’s Chairman.
Lanier was recently formed by combining the businesses of Abeome and Biophtha Inc., with bridge funding from investors, including founders Kirby Alton, PhD, former Senior Vice President of Development at Amgen; and Daniel White, MBA, former CEO of Clearside Biomedical. Messrs. Alton and White are joined by Lanier’s other two founders, Martin Simonetti, MS, MBA and Chris McLeod, MS, to form Lanier’s experienced leadership team:
- President, CEO & Director, Daniel White, is an accomplished entrepreneur and visionary in the biotech and pharmaceutical space. As the founder and CEO of Clearside Biomedical, he led the company from early private financing through its initial public offering and brings a wealth of biomedical development and successful fundraising experience.
- Chairman, Kirby Alton, reprises his role of Chairman of Abeome, and brings deep product development expertise gained as one of Amgen’s original scientists.
- Director, Martin Simonetti, has significant Amgen and Genentech experience; an immense track record of leadership and growth across several biotechnology enterprises; and has led successful financings in both private and capital markets.
- Director, Chris McLeod, is an experienced biotechnology executive with vast expertise in growth companies and strategic collaborations. He is a former Executive Vice President of CuraGen and President of 454 Life Sciences; and is the current managing partner of Elm Street Ventures.
Lanier is developing a portfolio of 11 first-in-class therapeutic antibodies for specialty disease across four major verticals: Multi-functional Retina, Type 2 Inflammation, Dermatology, and ImmunoOncology.
“With a robust portfolio of 11 first-in-class, proprietary therapeutic antibodies, we are eager to progress toward the clinic with our two lead candidates: one targeting retinal disease using our multifunction anti VEGF inhibitor and the second using the most advanced and proprietary anti IL25 to treat Type 2 Inflammatory diseases,” said Daniel White, President and CEO of Lanier. “Lanier has initiated a fund raise to launch these two programs that hold promise for improving treatment to provide a better life for patients.”
Lanier’s LNR 653.1 is a proprietary bifunctional antibody being developed for the treatment of retinal neovascularization diseases (wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and retinal vein occlusion. LNR 653.1 is designed to combine the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) effect of aflibercept (marketed as Eylea by Regeneron) with the anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects similar to that of secukinumab (marketed as Cosentyx by Novartis). Preclinical data suggest that LNR 653.1 is safe, with efficacy similar or superior to aflibercept. Lanier is currently conducting pre-formulation experiments and non-clinical functional testing, with plans to initiate investigational new drug (“IND”)-enabling studies of LNR 653.1 in 2022.
Type 2 Inflammation
LNR 125.38 is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the upstream cytokine IL-25. By reducing, or even eliminating the effects of downstream allergic and antiviral cytokines, LNR 125.38 targets Type 2 Inflammation, which is implicated in different atopic, allergic and inflammatory diseases. Lanier is prioritizing the development of LNR 125.38 across a broad range of potential treatments of moderate to severe asthma that is classified as either high or low eosinophil challenge by allergy or rhinovirus; chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps; and eosinophil esophagitis and gastritis. Preclinical data have demonstrated that LNR 125.38 significantly reduces Type 2 (downstream) cytokines and inflammatory cells in allergic mouse and rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbations. Lanier is currently conducting pre-formulation experiments and non-clinical functional testing, with plans to initiate IND-enabling studies of LNR 125.38 in the second half of 2022.
Lanier is developing LNR 653.1 for the treatment of psoriasis, where functional testing has demonstrated potency and efficacy comparable to secukinumab and ixekizumab (marketed as Taltz by Eli Lilly). The Company is also developing LNR 125.38 for the treatment of chronic urticaria and atopic dermatitis.
MT-6402 is an engineered toxin body manufactured by Molecular Templates, Inc., which contains a PDL-1 inhibitor previously licensed by it from Lanier’s extensive library of proprietary checkpoint inhibitors. In July, Molecular Templates dosed the first subject in a Phase 1 study evaluating MT-6402 in patients with PD-L1-positive solid tumors and expects to provide an update on the study by the end of this year.
About Alloy Therapeutics
Alloy Therapeutics is a biotechnology ecosystem company empowering the global scientific community to make better medicines together. Through a community of partners, Alloy democratizes access to tools, technologies, services, and company creation capabilities that are foundational for discovering and developing therapeutic biologics. The company facilitates affordable, non-exclusive access to the entire drug discovery community from academic scientists, small and medium biotech, to the largest biopharma. Alloy’s lead offering, the ATX-Gx™ platform, is a human therapeutic antibody discovery platform consisting of a growing suite of proprietary transgenic mice strains. Founded in 2017 and privately funded by visionary investors, Alloy is headquartered in Boston, MA with European labs in Cambridge, UK. As a reflection of Alloy’s relentless commitment to the scientific community, Alloy reinvests 100% of its revenue in innovation and access to innovation.
AbeoMouse™ is a novel transgenic antibody discovery platform that generates mature B-cells with high surface immunoglobulin (Ig) expression, allowing for the direct selection and cloning of antigen-specific B-cells. AbeoMouse™ over-expresses immunoglobulin co-receptors alpha (Ig- / CD79a), beta (Ig- / CD79b) and interleukin 6 (IL6) genes, such that immunized animals produce a 45-fold increase in surface Ig positive antibody secreting cells and an accelerated immune response.
DiSH™ technology enables the rapid selection and cloning of antigen-specific hybridomas. Using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) or magnetic separation, desired hybridomas can be labelled and subsequently isolated from among a pool of hundreds of thousands of cells, in a matter of hours.
About Lanier Biotherapeutics
Lanier Biotherapeutics was founded by combining the businesses of Biophtha and Abeome, to further develop an existing first-in-class biologics portfolio for specialty disease, with the ultimate goal of improving the way we survive, age, and live. Lanier targets four major verticals: Multi-functional Retina, Type 2 Inflammation, Dermatology, and ImmunoOncology. Lanier’s lead developments programs include LNR 653.1, a fully humanized anti-VEGF / IL-17A multifunctional antibody for the treatment of retinal neovascularization diseases and LNR 125.36, a fully humanized anti-IL-25 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Type 2 Inflammatory diseases. For more information, please visit www.lanierbio.com.
Lanier Biotherapeutics Inc.
Investor & Public Relations