Kymab, an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibody drugs, announced new data published in Science Translational Medicine indicate that Kymab's most advanced clinical stage antibody, KY1005, could play an important role in blood-system transplants, such as the treatment of leukemia.
This preclinical model of a haematopoetic cell transplant (also known as bone marrow transplant) demonstrates, for the first time, that acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD) has been controlled for the entire trial period.
Researchers from Kymab worked with a team led by Dr Leslie Kean, Associate Director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute.
Dr Kean said: "KY1005, in combination with sirolimus, sets a new standard for aGVHD prevention. These results in the complex and clinically relevant animal model suggest this regimen is an exceptional candidate for clinical translation."
KY1005 in combination with sirolimus has the potential to set a new standard of care for aGVHD prevention.
Dr David Chiswell, CEO of Kymab, said: "Kymab is searching for therapeutic antibodies that answer significant medical needs and solve challenging clinical problems. 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."
In this study, KY1005 was administered in combination with sirolimus prophylactically and was able to potently control T-cell activation yet still support successful haematologic reconstitution and donor engraftment post-transplant.
On its own, KY1005 produced a longer period of freedom from disease than controls, comparable to the effect of sirolimus.
However, it was the combination of both treatments that gave impressive results: recipients remained healthy and free from aGVHD signs for the length of the study (100 days post-transplant) and even when they had been weaned off KY1005.
Importantly, the work was supported by biological evidence that gene activity in T-cells is normalised, combined with the reduction of the characteristic signs of aGVHD.
KY1005 is Kymab's most advanced clinical stage antibody currently being trialled in healthy volunteers and patients with an autoimmune disease.