Bertilimumab is a fully human mAb that targets eotaxin. It was originally developed by Cambridge Antibody Technology (now MedImmune, the biologics division of AstraZeneca), isolated initially by phage display technology as antibody fragment (CAT-212), then optimized, converted into the IgG4-type whole antibody bertilimumab (CAT-213), and expressed in Lonza Biologics’ mammalian expression system. The antibody was GMP manufactured at Lonza Biologics. iCo Therapautics licensed in the drug from CAT before granting Immune an option to in-license bertilimumab for non-ophthalmic indications in December 2010. This option was exercised in June 2011. Immune is developing Bertilimumab for the treatment of Inflammatory bowel diseases (UC and CD) as well as other indications. A Phase 2 clinical trial for treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
The drug has been evaluated in multiple pre-clinical studies. It was shown to be highly specific to human eotaxin-1 and to inhibit eotaxin-1 mediated chemotaxis of human eosinophils from healthy donors and from airway secretion of asthmatic patients. Animal studies demonstrated that bertilimumab is effective in inhibiting eosinophilia in mice and the recruitment of eosinophils to the dermis in monkeys.
Eotaxin-1 (CCL11) is a key mediator of inflammation, angiogenesis and neurogenesis in multiple clinical indications. Eotaxin is a CC chemokine that was first purified from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of allergic guinea pigs. The first functional role that was elucidated for eotaxin was eosinophil chemotaxis mediated via the CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3), and it has also been shown to have a variety of effects associated with eosinophil activation. In all, these data implicate eotaxin-1 as an important regulator of overall eosinophil function. While an important component of innate immunity, the accumulation of eosinophils in tissues can be detrimental; eosinophil degranulation products have significant cytotoxic effects on tissues, and cytokines known to be released by eosinophils enhance inflammatory signaling. By interfering with this process, Bertilimumab is a pharmaceutical candidate for the following indications:
For additional information on the indications related to Bertilimumab, please click here.