Aptamer Group announces new deals to support novel therapies and improved assays

19

Aptamer Group plc, the developer of novel Optimer® binders to enable innovation in the life sciences industry, announces a selection of new contract wins where Optimer technology is being explored by partners to offer new strategies for therapeutics and potentially offer improved assay sensitivity and selectivity over antibodies.

Optimer binders are oligonucleotide-based affinity ligands generated through the in vitro Optimer platform, which can be used as antibody alternatives. They offer benefits of ethical compliance with no use of animals in discovery, development of manufacture, the ability to pursue new targets via 3 parallel discovery processes optimised for target type (small molecules, proteins and cells), and the screening against end-use application conditions and cross-reactive targets into the discovery process for improved binder performance.

“Today I am pleased to report a selection of our new contract wins which have the potential for future downstream royalties and milestone payments.” Commented Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer of Aptamer Group.

“Following the successful development and proof-of-concept of an Optimer to correct oncogenic splicing errors in Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (CMML) we have entered the second phase of our collaboration with Cancer Research UK to develop the delivery vehicle portion of the bispecific therapeutic Optimer binder for the treatment of CMML and other myeloid malignancies. This second Optimer binder will enable targeted delivery of the therapeutic molecule for improved efficacy.

“We’ve also signed a new therapeutic deal to develop Optimers to block the activity of naturally occurring antibodies within the body for use as a potential therapy to prevent transplant rejection. The Optimer binders we generate may then support the development of a companion diagnostic panel, in addition to therapeutic use.

“Our Aptamer Solutions business has also seen significant progress since our full year results, with numerous new projects underway. Since the publication of the Group’s full year results, we have signed deals with a number of companies related to the development of Optimer solutions for assays where antibodies are not meeting their specificity and selectivity requirements.

“We are working with a biomarker services company to develop Optimer binders to support multiplex biomarker assays for mass spectrometry analysis. The Optimer-based assays will deliver increased sensitivity in identifying and analysing neurodegenerative disease biomarkers to improve clinical trial outcomes in drug development.

“Finally, we’ve also signed a deal with Novavax, a vaccine developer for respiratory diseases, who require Optimers to improve the selectivity and enable multiplex analysis of their QC assays.