Adheron Therapeutics is a small California (US) biotech which has developed a phase I monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy for inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Using the mAb humanisation platform licensed from Abzena (a life Sciences group from Cambridge, UK), Adheron Therapeutics will now be acquired by Swiss giant Roche for €509M.
Abzena, based in Brisbane (California), provides humanising-antibody platforms and techniques to the UK and US Biotech industry. From a portfolio of 10 clinical ‘Composite Human Antibodies‘ owned by Abzena, Adheron Therapeutics partnered up with them in order to research and humanise their SDP051 candidate. This compound has now been shown to have a therapeutic application in treatment of inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (the auto-immune joint inflammation) and fibrotic disease.
SDP051 works by inhibiting cadherin-11, the cell adhesion protein expressed on fibroblasts of the skin, lungs and on certain synovial cells in bone-joints. Cadherin-11 was researched in the implication of Rheumatoid arthritis by Michael Brenner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.