Invetx Launches Animal Drug Discovery Platform
The proprietary platform combines technologies from partners AbCellera, Twist Bioscience and WuXi Biologics to develop fully species-specific, optimized and half-life-extended monoclonal antibodies. Its capabilities extend across a wide range of indications and targets, including challenging targets for drug discovery such as G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which account for a significant number of approved drugs in humans and which are also relevant in veterinary medicine.
“Our vision is to bring next generation veterinary therapeutics to the market that address unmet needs with superior product profiles at affordable prices,” said Juergen Horn, Invetx’s CEO. “Additionally, Invetx’s proprietary half-life extension technology will allow for significantly longer dosing intervals, making long-term treatments far more convenient for owners and their pets while helping to improve compliance.”
Invetx is initially focused on diseases in dogs and cats but is planning to apply its platform to indications in other species. It said it has already built a robust pipeline of biotherapeutic programs and anticipates beginning pilot studies for the first candidates this year.
According to the Boston, Massachusetts-based firm, the global animal health and vaccines market, which was estimated to be worth $34 billion in 2019, is forecast to grow more than 6% per year, driven by rising pet ownership and spend as well as treatments and vaccines for farm animals.
Although biopharmaceuticals dominate human drug development because of their long-lasting effects and ability to precisely address the molecular causes of diseases, Invetx said to date there is only one monoclonal antibody therapy that is available for veterinary use in Europe and the US.
Invetx’s founding investor is specialist venture capital firm Anterra Capital, which led a $15 million Series A financing round in February. Canadian biotech AbCellera, which specializes in antibody discovery from natural immune systems, and Hong-Kong listed WuXi Biologics, which offers open-access technology platforms, were also founding partners.
Twist Biopharma, a division of Twist Bioscience, announced it was partnering Invetx in July, providing its disruptive DNA synthesis Twist Antibody Optimization platform for their discovery efforts.
Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist