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2023-03-16| Partnerships

ImmunoPrecise Antibodies, Libera Bio Ink $155 Million Pact To Deliver Antibodies With Nanotechnology

by Joy Lin
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Canada-based ImmunoPrecise Antibodies (IPA), through its subsidiary Talem Therapeutics, has drawn up an agreement with Spanish biotech Libera Bio to address intracellular cancer targets. The collaboration will make use of Talem’s antibody discovery platform and Libera’s nanoscale delivery technology.  

The deal could bring Libera $155 million in upfront and milestone payments plus royalties for each product developed. 

Related Article: Pfizer Acquires Seagen for $43 Billion to Capture Leading Position in Oncology

Delivering Antibodies with Nanocapsules

It is estimated that 75% of disease-causing targets are found within cells. This includes some of the most elusive cancer targets which have been deemed “undruggable”. Small molecules have been developed to disrupt disease-causing processes such as the MAPK or Hedgehog pathways within the cell, but often lead to unwanted side effects due to their lack of specificity. 

Antibodies have been engineered to enter tumor cells, but the process is complex. IPA and Libera’s approach includes delivering antibodies into cells via nanocapsules. Specifically, Libera will use their Multifunctional Polymeric Nanocapsules (MPN) technology to create nanocapsules specially designed to prevent the antibodies from degrading in the bloodstream. MPNs could also deliver biologics or a biologic-small molecule combination in the same nanocapsule, creating many possibilities for treatment.

IPA’s Talem, on the other hand, will focus on antibody discovery and optimization using their AI-powered LENSai Technology from BioStrand BV. BioStrand could generate and screen libraries of antibody candidates against targets, including intracellular ones. 

The companies’ end goal involves offering candidates to larger pharma companies for late-state development and commercialization. Their work will begin with the investigation of two intracellular targets with “very high unmet patient needs”, the companies said. 

“The Libera Bio team has been very impressed with the combination of modern in silico tools and wet lab capabilities at the IPA Family of companies. We are looking forward to this alliance that just may yield dozens of new options for cancer treatment,” said Olivier Jarry, Co-Founder and CEO of Libera Bio.

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