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Milestone in Kymouse human antibody platform

Kymab demonstrates human-like functionality and usage, providing the genetic basis for first commercial strains.

Kymab, a monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical company, announced today a milestone in the development of its next-generation human therapeutic antibody discovery platform, Kymouse, at the Gordon Research Conference "Antibody Biology and Engineering".

Dr Glenn Friedrich, Senior VP Technology, presented data showing that a complement of variable regions from the human immunoglobulin heavy chain, kappa and lambda light chains have been successfully established in mouse strains using proprietary ES cell targeted insertion technology.

This results in human-like functionality and usage and provides the genetic basis for the company’s first commercial strains, Kymouse HK and Kymouse HL.

"We have substantially completed the genetic construction of the core elements of our Kymouse HK and HL strains, which we plan to use for internal drug discovery and will make available to partners," said Dr. Friedrich.

The data presented at the conference showed that mice with chimaeric human-mouse heavy chain and light chain loci produce normal immunoglobulin levels, with a normal and functional B-cell compartment. These transgenic mice respond to antigen challenges with appropriate class switching.

The chimeric human antibodies are matured in vivo through normal somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation processes.

"This represents a major milestone for our Kymouse programme," added Professor Allan Bradley, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Kymab. "We have transferred more than two million base pairs of human DNA into mice and shown that human Ig heavy chain, kappa and lambda light chains, are fully functional in Kymouse strains, with background mouse Ig expression being effectively silenced using our proprietary locus inversion technology."

"This is a remarkable achievement in the field of ES cell and mouse biology," said Andy Sandham, Chairman and CEO. "We are now gearing up our internal antibody discovery and partnering activities that will use the Kymouse HK strain this year, with Kymouse HL and other strains planned for launch in early 2013. We believe the Kymouse platform will offer the largest human antibody repertoire to become commercially available in transgenic mice."

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