With the development of a cell line that produces significant amounts of Immutep‘s treatment candidate, IMP761, the company is preparing to advance its antibody into clinical testing for autoimmune conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS).
Immutep also reports that is adapting its manufacturing operations to comply with good manufacturing practices (GMP) to ensure that each batch of the medicine will meet high quality standards. This is a necessary step for regulatory agencies to allow a medicine to enter testing in people.
IMP761 is an antibody designed to prevent the proliferation and activation of inflammatory immune T-cells involved in autoimmune conditions like MS, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It does so by binding and further activating an inhibitory receptor on the surface of these cells, called lymphocyte-activation gene 3, or LAG-3, a protein first discovered in 1990 by Frederic Triebel, Immutep’s chief scientist and medical officer.
This receptor is used to regulate immune responses, preventing T-cells from going haywire and attacking healthy tissues. Its activity appears to be abnormal in some people with autoimmune conditions.
By binding and activating LAG-3 on the surface of activated T-cells, IMP761 is believed to induce a stronger inhibitory signal, effectively stopping T-cells from proliferating and attacking healthy cells.
Immutep is manufacturing IMP761 in collaboration with Batavia Biosciences, which recently generated a cell line that produces even larger amounts of this treatment candidate than initially anticipated.
The pharmaceutical-grade cell line is essentially a hamster cell line — Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) — that produces the antibody using Batavia’s STEP-mAb technology.
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