PIERIS expands IP in Anticalins

Related tags Protein Immunology

PIERIS has strengthened its patent estate for a new class of
proteins which could represent a more flexible alternative to
antibody-based drugs.

Germany's PIERIS Proteolab has entered into an agreement with the Technical University of Munich that strengthens the firm's patent estate for a new class of proteins which could represent an alternative to antibody-based drugs.

PIERIS hopes to develop the proteins, called Anticalins, for both therapeutic and diagnostic applications. They are derived from natural lipocalin proteins and have the ability to bind to ligands in a manner analogous to antibodies, according to the company, which is focusing its efforts on developing Anticalins for use in oncology and immunological diseases.

Lipocalins are typically small secreted proteins that have a variety of functions in vivo​, including the regulation of immune responses, prostaglandin synthesis and maintenance of cell homeostasis.

PIERIS​ has been assigned two TU Munich patents, one of which refers to a human lipocalin scaffold, and has secured an ongoing collaboration in which it will get rights to any additional patents generated at the university.

The company claims that Anticalins offer a number of advantages over antibodies, including the ability to create focused libraries, easier delivery (owing to their small molecular size), simple production by secretion from Escherichia coli​ or yeast, lower manufacturing costs and the ability to attach active 'payloads' - for example a cytotoxic drug in cancer therapy - at either end of their polypeptide chain.

The Anticalin technology was invented by Prof Arne Skerra, who is head of the department of biological chemistry at TU Munich as well as a co-founder of PIERIS.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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