Vaccinex Announces Multiple New Agreements for Access to ActivMAb Antigen Virus Technology

Vaccinex, Inc. recently announced it has entered into eight new antibody discovery agreements integrating use of its proprietary ActivMAb platform to select antibodies against difficult-to-drug transmembrane protein targets.

Within the past 3 months, Vaccinex has entered into new antibody discovery agreements for complex targets with three major pharma and biotech companies as well as five strategic relationships with other antibody service providers who have developed transgenic animal species for immunization or very large synthetic antibody libraries that complement our own technology. ActivMAb’s new “Antigen Virus” application is a powerful complement to drug discovery strategies targeting complex protein targets including ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) such as chemokine receptors. Specific membrane targets are also key to development of antibody drug conjugates (ADC) for cancer, The ActivMAb system enables expression of functional, properly folded complex proteins on the relatively simple membrane of a mammalian virus. We believe that this is a much more highly purified presentation and efficient selection technology than the complex natural membrane fragments that have been termed virus-like particles.

“We have recently publicized success in selecting high-value antibodies against challenging multi-pass membrane targets. We are excited to be able to capitalize on what we believe is recognition of the unique capabilities of our drug discovery technology. We believe recent interest in this technology may reflect increased market optimism and renewed attention to pipelines that were neglected during the biotech downturn of the past 2 years. Ongoing partnerships can leverage the full suite of our ActivMAb Antibody Discovery solutions to accelerate development of novel, high-value therapeutics,” said Maurice Zauderer, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vaccinex.

ActivMAb is a proprietary antibody discovery platform developed by Vaccinex with unique capabilities for multi-pass membrane targets such as G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The ActivMAb technology has multiple applications including: complex membrane antigen expression and presentation, antibody and antigen discovery, directed evolution and protein optimization. The first clinical candidate selected through use of this technology (CHS-114, a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting CCR8), is in clinical development for cancer immunotherapy by Coherus Biosciences, Inc.

Vaccinex, Inc. is pioneering a differentiated approach to treating slowly progressive neurodegenerative diseases and cancer through the inhibition of semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D). The Company’s lead drug candidate, pepinemab, is designed to block SEMA4D, a potent biological effector that is believed to trigger damaging inflammation in chronic diseases of the brain and to inhibit immune infiltration and activation in tumors. Pepinemab is being studied as a monotherapy in the Phase 1/2a SIGNAL-AD study in Alzheimer’s Disease that is expected to readout in Q3 2024, with ongoing exploration of potential Phase 3 development in Huntington’s disease. In oncology, pepinemab is being evaluated in combination with KEYTRUDA in the Phase 1b/2 KEYNOTE-B84 study in recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer (HNSCC) and in combination with BAVENCIO in a Phase 1b/2 study in patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The oncology clinical program also includes several investigator-sponsored studies in solid tumors including breast cancer and melanoma.