Breda, The Netherlands / Ghent, Belgium – arGEN-X N.V. (Euronext Brussels: ARGX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating and developing differentiated therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and severe autoimmune diseases, today reports that its partner RuiYi, Inc., a company focused on the discovery and development of novel biologic therapies, has announced the first human dosing of Gerilimzumab, a novel monoclonal antibody neutralizing the IL-6 cytokine, for the treatment of autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis.
arGEN-X licensed the worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Gerilimzumab to RuiYi in late 2012. Gerilimzumab was originally generated by arGEN-X using its SIMPLE AntibodyTM platform and has been further differentiated with NHance®, its novel, proprietary technology, which prolongs the circulation time and improves tissue distribution of antibodies.
The clinical trial initiated by RuiYi is a double-blind, placebo controlled study in healthy volunteers, with both single and multiple ascending dose protocols. The start of the trial triggers an undisclosed milestone payment by RuiYi to arGEN-X.
Positive results from this study will support advancing Gerilimzumab into trials in patients with autoimmune disorders, including moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in 2016.
“The first human dosing of Gerilimzumab marks significant progress for this exciting antibody product candidate,” said Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO at arGEN-X. “RuiYi has been an excellent partner for arGEN-X and we’ve been impressed with how they have efficiently progressed Gerilimzumab, discovered with arGEN-X’s SIMPLE AntibodyTM platform, into clinical studies.”