Femta and Lonza sign monoclonal antibody agreement

Femta Pharmaceuticals and Lonza Group of Switzerland have signed an agreement for the development and cGMP manufacturing of FM101, a high affinity monoclonal antibody in late pre-clinical development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Femta Pharmaceuticals and Lonza Group of Switzerland have signed an agreement for the development and cGMP manufacturing of FM101, a high affinity monoclonal antibody in late pre-clinical development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

The agreement gives Femta, which is based in San Diego, California, US, access to Lonza's GS gene expression system along with cell line, purification and process development to support a cGMP process for Femta's clinical development programme.

"FM101 is a femto molar binding antibody that we are developing for subcutaneous delivery in patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases," said Stephen Keane, chief operating officer of Femta Pharmaceuticals.

"We plan to submit an IND and initiate a Phase I clinical trial in 2010. By leveraging Lonza's considerable expertise in gene expression and antibody manufacturing, FM101 will have the additional benefit of speed and yield optimisation to enhance further the economies of scale for our antibody."

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