Bone Marrow Transplant Therapy Gets Monoclonal Antibody Boost

Clinical-stage antibody study offers impressive results in controlling rejection in blood system transplant therapies. 

UK-based biopharmaceutical Kymab announced new data published in Science Translational Medicine indicates its fully-human monoclonal antibody (MAb) drug candidate KY1005 may play an important role in improving the efficacy of blood system transplants that treat blood system cancers like leukemia. The study, conducted in collaboration with Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, demonstrated for the first time that acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD) can be controlled in a preclinical models of hematopoietic cell transplants used to treat blood disease.

According to Kymab, the study showed that in combination with sirolimus, KY1005 has the potential to set a new standard of care for aGVHD prevention and that as an antagonist of OX40-ligand, shows real potential to in its ability to treat a number of autoimmune diseases.

Reiterating the KY1005/sirolimus combination’s standard of care-setting potential, Dr. Leslie Kean, Associate Director at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute remarked, “These results in the complex and clinically relevant animal model suggest this regimen is an exceptional candidate for clinical translation.”

Kymab explained that KY1005, when administered prophylactically, in combination with sirolimus, the treatment demonstrated the potential control T-cell activation, “yet still support successful hematologic reconstitution and donor engraftment post-transplant.” The company said that in Phase I trails in health volunteers and people with autoimmune disease, KY1005 blocks a key interaction between proteins’ OX40 and OX40L that stimulates the immune system.

“Kymab is searching for therapeutic antibodies that answer significant medical needs and solve challenging clinical problems,” said Kymab CEO David Chiswell. “Transplant medicine has brought tremendous advances, but rejection and graft-versus-host disease remain two very difficult challenges. Our new results show that our antibody KY1005 could provide a biologically valid approach to managing transplant immunology better, with improved outcomes for patients.”


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