Kymab's unique mouse antibody strains have more than 5.4 million base-pairs of the human immunoglobulin genes in their genome — more than any other model.
Their performance is exceptional: virtually every mouse responds to challenge, producing high-titre polyclonal antibodies to a variety of antigens including highly conserved human antigens.
We are improving the value of our antibody discovery and development platforms still further for therapeutic antibody and vaccine discovery through three novel developments.
Using human genes and natural processes to make effective treatments
When immunised with human targets or pathogenic organisms, Kymab's mouse antibody platforms deliver a normal immune response and mature antibody drugs from their human building blocks. Because the human antibodies are produced through the normal and natural process of maturation, they evolve from molecules with good drug-like properties to drugs with exceptional potency, stability and solubility. Importantly, when these antibody genes are transferred into mammalian expression systems the recombinant molecules are reliably expressed at high levels.
Because of our unique platforms, the speed and efficiency with which Kymab deliver highly potent antibody drugs is truly remarkable: in the first two years since development, our platforms produced drug panels against more than 25 targets. We no longer need to follow the traditional, very slow and tortuous process of antibody optimisation, involving cycles of modifications to improve potency, stability, solubility and manufacturing yields.
Our modular antibody-discovery platforms can be modified further to support the discovery of highly differentiated antibodies and molecules with modes of action that would be unobtainable with other platforms. We invest in development of our platforms to facilitate specific drug-discovery efforts, such as target-locus knockouts and focusing of the repertoire by pre-setting the heavy or light chain to engineer bispecific antibodies. We have also generated mice with an enhanced average CDR3H length which will more effectively deliver antibodies against less-exposed epitopes.
Finding difficult targets
Knock-in and knockout to produce antibodies directed to conserved regions
Because self-reactive B-cells are deleted during normal development, antibodies recovered are naturally restricted to regions of the antigen that are not conserved between species. However, regions of a molecule conserved between species usually are the most important parts of the molecule, such as surfaces required for intra-molecular interactions between receptors and ligands or active sites of enzymes.
To generate antibodies to conserved regions, a central part of our technology is to develop our mouse antibody strains in which the relevant part of a target has been deleted (knocked out) or altered. Mice lacking the orthologous protein develop antibodies against all parts of the target molecule.
Our technology developments give us a unique capability and capacity to discover truly innovative drugs, in challenging sectors such as:
- species cross-reactive antibodies, facilitating pre-clinical development;
- antibodies that target unique epitopes, facilitating unique modes of action;
- antibodies that target conserved regions and so are more likely to have functional properties.