Selexis to Provide ImmuNext with Cell Lines for Research into Treatment for MS, Autoimmune Diseases

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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Selexis has entered into a commercial arrangement with ImmuNext, providing that company with access to research cell banks from its SURE technology Platform (a best-in-class cell line development technology). ImmuNext will use the cell banks in further developing its anti-CD40 ligand antibody, a potential therapeutic agent for chronic autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

Market demand for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is increasing and with it interest in developing models of mammalian cell culture processes, due to the fact that these are commonly used as production platforms for mAbs — now the fastest growing segment of the biopharmaceutical industry.

Selexis’ proprietary SURE CHO-M Cell Line incorporates a stable and high-performing manufacturing mammalian cell line (suspension-adapted CHO-K1), with the technology and expertise needed to translate scientific innovation into patient therapies. In a press release, the company states that its SURE technology Platform improves the way these mammalian cells are used, and enables a rapid, stable, and cost-effective production of recombinant proteins, allowing the development of biologics from discovery through to commercialization.

CD40 ligand, also known as CD154 or CD40L, is a protein that is mainly expressed on activated T-cells (immune cells known to play a role in autoimmune disorders), and is a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily of molecules. It binds to CD40 on antigen-presenting cells (APC), which leads to different effects depending on the cell type targeted. The anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody has shown efficacy in delaying the progression of autoimmune conditions in experimental animal models.

“We are pleased to expand our relationship with ImmuNext, which began out of a necessity to rapidly and predictably develop a high productivity cell line that would meet ImmuNext’s demand projections in the event of a successful clinical development and commercial launch of their anti-CD40L antibody,” said Yemi Onakunle, PhD, vice president, licensing and business development, Selexis SA.

“ImmuNext’s development program received a $1.8M Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) Phase 2B award from the National Institutes of Health earlier this year for pre-clinical development of its proprietary anti-CD40L antibody. The Selexis team is proud to have played a small role in helping the company to advance its research,” Onakunle added.