Scientists working in the labs of PetMedix Ltd have recently achieved the successful transfer of more than 4 Mbp of canine antibody DNA into the mouse genome. This process involved 35 separate genetic manipulation steps, in what is likely to be the largest transfer of genetic material from one mammalian species to another, not involving human DNA. This work marks the completion of their Ky9™ platform, which is unique in its ability to be used to discover fully canine therapeutic antibodies. No other platform or technology in the world is capable of selecting, in vivo, fully canine therapeutic antibodies in the same manner. A similarly gargantuan genome engineering undertaking was the basis of the technology that underpins Kymab’s Kymouse antibody discovery platform.
Genome engineering of this scale and sophistication was important to maintain immunoglobulin gene structure and integrity, reconfiguring the gene structure to the base pair, in order to replicate and exploit the mouse’s natural immune system. In this way the Ky9 platform is able to produce fully mature antibodies selected in vivo for the highest quality, biological activity, stability and half-life. Ultimately, this work will enable the discovery of highly-efficacious, affordable, long-lasting companion animal medicines.
PetMedix has also begun work on its Felyne™ platform, which follows a similar design to the Ky9 mouse and enables the discovery of fully feline therapeutic antibodies, bringing novel therapies for a critical but under-served companion animal species. The Ky9 platform has already been used for a number of internal discovery programmes at PetMedix, and provides the foundation for PetMedix’s partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. PetMedix’s internal programmes are progressing well and on schedule. As was expected from a platform of this calibre, candidate antibodies from the Ky9 platform are outperforming all relevant benchmarks, including in in vivo studies.
“Our goal at PetMedix is to bring the very best therapeutics to companion animal medicine. That we have reached this significant milestone is testament to the incredible team of nearly 40 scientists we have at PetMedix. For a company that is only 2 years old to have both completed a platform at this scale, and to have already used it to discover antibodies with best-in-class potential is down to the quality of both the science we are carrying out, and the people we have working on it.” – Dr Tom Weaver, PetMedix CEO.