Lundbeck bets on shark
antibodies for new brain drugs
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[January 27, 2017]
LONDON (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker
Lundbeck is betting that shark antibodies may offer a new way of getting
drugs into the brain to fight Alzheimer's and other diseases, after
successful early research with privately owned U.S. biotech firm
The two companies said on Thursday that Lundbeck had made an
undisclosed payment to Ossianix, which has labs in Britain,
following experiments in mice showing the effective transfer of
potential drugs across the blood-brain barrier.
Getting modern large-molecule medicines across the barrier that
protects the brain is a major challenge for drug developers.
Sharks, as the most evolutionarily ancient animal species to have an
immune system similar to humans, may offer a solution.
Ossianix has found a way to attach therapeutic proteins to
shark-derived antibodies, allowing treatments to be shuttled across
the barrier into the brain where they bind to a drug target.
The technology is still years away from producing a marketed
medicine but Lundbeck research head Kim Andersen said it had
"significant potential" to benefit patients by delivering
antibody-based medicines and other complex drugs into the brain.
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(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Alexander Smith)
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