7:41 PM
 | 
Mar 14, 2019
 |  BC Innovations  |  Product Development

Fresh AIMMs for elite responders

AIMM's elite responder platform points to modified protein antigens in cancer

AIMM Therapeutics B.V.’s elite responder platform has identified mAbs that distinguish tumor and healthy cells based on protein modifications.

The company is one of a handful of players mining the immune systems of cancer patients successfully treated with immunotherapies for therapeutic antibodies, and the first to disclose the targets it has found.

AIMM launched in 2004 with a focus on infectious disease and spent 12 years developing mAbs for pharmas with funding from its founders, a 2009 €1 million ($1.4 million) angel investment from Life Sciences Fund Amsterdam, and revenues from licensing deals with partners including the MedImmune Inc. unit of AstraZeneca plc, the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche, the Crucell N.V. unit of Johnson & Johnson and Cosmo Pharmaceuticals N.V.

Its lead asset, an RSV mAb partnered with AstraZeneca, was identified in blood from a retired kindergarten teacher who never showed signs of RSV infection despite years of exposure to the virus’ primary carrier population. RSV mAb is in pivotal Phase IIb/III trials and has Breakthrough designation from FDA and Prime designation from EMA.

John Womelsdorf, who became AIMM’s CEO last year, said the company reached a crossroads in 2014 when it found an antibody in the blood of a stage four metastatic melanoma patient who had been in remission for six years following treatment with an early form of T cell immunotherapy.

AIMM found the patient’s antibody recognized a tumor-specific version of the adhesion protein CD9 with an abnormal post-translational modification: excessive palmitoylation. The antibody became the basis for AIMM’s AT1412, which is in preclinical testing for solid tumors and multiple myeloma (MM).

“The change in strategy was really driven by this program,” said Womelsdorf.

Last year, AIMM spun the company’s older partnered assets into a holding company dubbed Rsouth Antibodies B.V., and subsequently raised a $25 million series...

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