PetMedix™, a research and development stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that its first-ever fully canine monoclonal antibodies were used successfully in a canine trial, outperforming all relevant benchmarks. The PetMedix team discovered these antibodies using the unique proprietary Ky9™ transgenic platform and conducted this first-of-its-kind study as part of an internal discovery campaign.
This announcement positions PetMedix to lead the next generation of therapeutic antibody development in animal health, matching leading-edge human technology with unmet pet health needs.
“This is a huge milestone for the company, one of which every single person working at the company should be proud,” says Tom Weaver, PhD, PetMedix CEO. “To be the first company ever to develop a fully canine therapeutic antibody, and to find out that it supports dog health and welfare, not just well but better than anything else out there, is an incredible achievement. That the team that pulled this off has only been around for 2.5 years only makes it more impressive.”
Monoclonal antibodies first garnered significant attention in the animal health market five to 10 years ago, with a promise of bringing new technology to bear on pet health problems for which few therapies existed. But successful commercial products have been slow to emerge. Now, the market is poised for a second wave of innovation, with PetMedix and species-specific antibodies at the forefront.
As with the early days of human antibody research, animal health researchers initially started with a rodent antibody and tried to make it dog-like or cat-like through engineering efforts in the lab. However, not only is this process expensive and time-consuming, but there is a risk that the hybrid antibody produced will be recognised by the patient’s immune system as foreign, rendering it partially or completely ineffective.
Today, PetMedix is taking a more advanced approach. By transforming the antibody repertoire of one species completely into that of the patient species, they are able to directly harness the natural power of the immune system. Overall, this approach can be used to bring highly effective therapies to patients with the highest chances for success in clinical development.
PetMedix is bringing fully species-specific antibodies to the veterinary market. As the first company to use a fully canine therapeutic antibody in a dog trial, the company has written a new chapter in the pet biotech landscape and plans to continue to build on this momentum.
The news follows the recent announcement of the completion of the Ky9 platform at the heart of PetMedix’s canine antibody discovery engine. Only a few companies, such as human biotech titans Regeneron and Kymab, have successfully transformed the immune system of one species into that of another. PetMedix has now joined this exclusive club and is the first animal health company to ever do so.
PetMedix completed the entire process in house, undertaking its own platform engineering, antibody discovery and screening, data analytics, antibody expression and purification, and analysis of canine samples from the study. Operational only since 2019, PetMedix now consists of more than 40 people who are capable of delivering on a number of projects, both internal and in partnership.