Solvanix to improve antibody stability

Friday, 16 January, 2015

Biotech start-up Solvanix, a spin-off company of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, was launched this week with funding from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). The aim of the company, which will be based at Garvan, is to commercialise a technology for improving stability and reducing the aggregation (stickiness) of fully human antibodies - a side effect of their purification, concentration and storage for use as therapeutic drugs.

StAbilize technology optimises amino acids at specific locations within the antibody complementarity determining regions (CDRs), without compromising its ‘human’ quality - and therefore minimising adverse immune reactions in patients. The result is a fully human antibody with drastically improved stability and a reduced propensity to aggregate that still retains all the properties necessary for therapeutic use.

“At present, vast sums of money are being wasted because up to 30-50% of drugs in development have stability issues, and many products are ultimately failing,” said Solvanix founder and CSO Associate Professor Daniel Christ. “As you can imagine, this failure rate considerably increases drug development costs. Our new technology will simply eliminate stability issues and associated costs.”

The MRCF, managed by Brandon Capital Partners, has committed $2 million to fund Solvanix and establish a service business that allows the rapid incorporation of the StAbilize technology into human antibody candidates at all stages of development and commercialisation. Solvanix will work with the biotech and pharma companies to develop antibodies incorporating StAbilize, with non-exclusive licences available for the technology.

“Solvanix is a great example of the pioneering technologies that the MRCF is set up to commercialise,” said Chris Smith, a non-executive director at Solvanix and investment manager at Brandon Capital Partners. “This is the only broadly applicable technology proven to reduce antibody aggregation. StAbilize has a broad range of benefits such that it should be a game-changing addition to the global antibody therapeutics industry.”

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