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Kymab Announces Publication of the Kymouse Technology in Nature Biotechnology

CAMBRIDGE, England, March 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Kymab, a monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical company founded on research from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, announced today the publication in Nature  Biotechnology of a paper describing its breakthrough therapeutic antibody discovery technology, Kymouse™ (http://dx.doi.org/).

Scientists at Kymab have engineered a mouse with the full set of genes encoding the human antibody repertoire, calling this new technology Kymouse™.  They have demonstrated that these mice develop an enormous range of human antibodies which can be developed as potent drugs to treat a variety of human diseases such as cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases.

Antibodies are one of the best-selling classes of drugs today; five of the top ten best selling drugs are antibodies. This is because antibodies are natural products with exquisite specificity and potency, and generally have superior safety profiles. The challenge has been to capture the full human antibody repertoire and to recapitulate all its attributes.

Professor  Allan  Bradley,  Founder  and  Chief  Scientific  Officer  of  Kymab,  said:  "This  is  a  remarkable  achievement  in  our  journey  towards  delivering  therapeutic  antibodies  and  to  facilitate  vaccine  development.  Kymab  scientists  have  completed  the  most  ambitious  humanization  project  of  the  mouse  genome  ever  undertaken,  with  5.4  million  bases  of  human  DNA,  representing  0.1%  of  the  human  genome  inserted  into  the  appropriate  place  in  the  mouse  genome."  

Dr  Christian  Grøndahl,  Chief  Executive  Officer  of  Kymab,  added:  "We  are  delighted  to  publish  our  technology  in  this  highly  prestigious  journal  and  to  present  the  first  professional  peer-reviewed  publication  of  transgenic  mice  with  a  fully  human  antibody  repertoire.  Antibodies  discovered  using  Kymouse™  strains  are  essentially  ready  to  be  developed  as  drugs.  We  are  building  a  rich  pipeline  of  first-in-class  therapeutics  in  five  areas:  haematology,  oncology,  auto-immunity,  pain  and  cardiovascular  disease.  This  technology  offers  great  potential  to  advance  patient  care  in  diseases  with  significant  unmet  medical  need."

Dr  David  Chiswell,  former  CEO  of  Cambridge  Antibody  Technology  and  Chairman  of  Kymab's  Board  of  Directors  said:  "Kymab's  highly  innovative  and  technically  advanced  Kymouse™  platform  has  overcome  the  problems  which  limited  previous  generations  of  human  antibody  generating  mice  and  is  a  strong  foundation  on  which  we  can  build  a  global  biotechnology  company."

Mice with portions of the human antibody repertoire have been developed previously. However, the technology used at the time proved unsuitable for moving the very large stretches of DNA from the human genome into the mouse. As a result their antibody gene repertoires were both incomplete and in the wrong location in the genome. Kymab scientists took a different approach and moved these vast stretches of DNA into the mouse genome in a series of steps each with a smaller segment of DNA, carefully re-joining them and thereby re-constructing the complete human repertoire in the correct place in the mouse genome.

By using the Kymouse™ technology, Kymab can pursue the targeting of the most challenging drug targets ranging from complicated ion channels and GPCRs to deeply hidden epitopes in heavily glycosylated virus proteins.

To make these sophisticated resources widely available, Kymab has created Kymab Access, a programme that enables academic researchers to pursue the discovery and development of novel human monoclonal antibody therapeutics by partnering with Kymab and its world leading Kymouse™ antibody technology.

About  Kymab 

Kymab is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibody drugs using its proprietary Kymouse™ transgenic antibody platform.

Kymouse™ has been designed to maximise the diversity of human antibodies produced in response to immunisation with antigens. Selecting from a broad diversity of fully human antibodies assures the highest probability of finding that rare drug candidate with best-in-class characteristics. Kymab is using the platform for its internal drug discovery programmes and in partnership with pharmaceutical companies. The first Kymouse™ antibody discovery agreement was concluded with Novo Nordisk in 2013.

Founded in 2009, Kymab raised £20m of equity financing in 2010 from the investment division of the Wellcome Trust. It has an experienced management team with a successful track record in drug discovery and development and has seven current therapeutic antibody discovery programmes in immune-oncology, auto-immunity, haematology, chronic pain and cardiovascular diseases.

About  Kymab  Access 

Kymab is committed, with the support of its primary investor, The Wellcome Trust, to collaborate with leading academic experts. Kymab Access is a programme that enables academic researchers to pursue the discovery and development of novel human monoclonal antibody therapeutics by partnering researchers with Kymab and its world leading Kymouse™ antibody technology. Kymab Access is administered by Kymab Access Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kymab established solely for this purpose with a confidentiality firewall between its operations and those of Kymab.

For further information, please visit http://www.kymab.com and http://www.kymabaccess.org

About  Wellcome  Trust  Sanger  Institute 

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.


About  Wellcome  Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.


Contact  Kymab: 
Dr Christian Grøndahl, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44-1223-833301, Email: [email protected]

Hume  Brophy
Mary Clark, Hollie Vile and Supriya Mathur
Tel: +44(0)20-3440-5653, Email: [email protected]

Kymab,  Kymouse,  Kymab  Access  are  trademarks  of  Kymab  Limited.


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