French ElsaLys Biotech just acquired MABLife’s anti-CD160 antibody. Originally developed for the treatment of vascular eye diseases, the antibody also has the potential to be applied for tumor therapy. It inhibits vascular proliferation and modulates the immune system.
To proliferate and migrate through the body, tumors rely on oxygen and nutrients supplies. Cancer cells initiate the formation of new blood vessels that will provide the required supply of nourishment. Therefore, angiogenesis inhibitors are popular targets for any cancer treatment.
The regulation of angiogenesis includes the receptor CD160 that is highly expressed on the surface of activated endothelial cells. Once activated by its natural ligand, the receptor provokes the death of new blood vessels.
An anti-CD160 antibody from MABLife, originally developed for ophthalmology, acts as an agonist to the ligand of the CD160 receptor. A big advantage of this ‘first-in-class’ antibody is that CD160 is only expressed in recent blood vessels and, hence, selectively triggers their death, whereas already existing vessels remain safe and sound. Furthermore, the receptor plays an important role in the modulation of Natural Killer cell and T-cell subpopulations. Combining the two biological mechanisms, CD160 has the potential to enhance cancer treatments.
With the anti-CD160 antibody, the two-year-old company ElsaLys Biotech now counts three proprietary antibodies and four development programs against different types of cancer and inflammatory diseases in its ranks. Even if the company is building an interesting portfolio, it is still too early to say if they will reach the patient.