arGEN-X granted first US patent covering its unique NHance™ technology

April 24, 2012

Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Ghent, Belgium  – arGEN-X, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of human monoclonal antibodies from its proprietary SIMPLE Antibody™ platform, announces that it has been granted the first patent covering its novel NHance™ technology.

arGEN-X recently announced that it had acquired the exclusive global rights to the NHance™ technology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where the invention had originated. As of today’s announcement, US Patent No 8,163,881 covering the core of the invention has been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Other aspects of the invention are being pursued in divisional patent applications.

NHance™ technology is one of very few proven approaches to prolonging the circulation time of therapeutic antibodies in the human body. NHance™ is based on engineering just two specific mutations into the antibody constant region (Fc), extending product half-life without compromising immunogenicity, manufacturability or Fc-mediated effector functions. The technology provides a new treatment paradigm in terms of reduced antibody dosing, increased efficacy and improved overall convenience to the patient.

arGEN-X will apply the NHance™ technology both to its own therapeutic antibody pipeline candidates and to its partners’ antibody discovery programs. In addition, arGEN-X will make the technology available to antibody-focused companies through non-exclusive licenses.

Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of arGEN-X, said, “The grant of our first patent for NHance™ is a key step for arGEN-X in building the cutting edge antibody discovery capabilities to create highly differentiated antibody products. We have already shown that NHance™ is the perfect complement both to our SIMPLE Antibody™ platform and to Potelligent®, an in-licensed technology that can enhance the cell killing ability of our antibodies. As we leverage our technology into product development, we see NHance™ delivering therapeutic antibodies with increased efficacy and improved pharmaco-economics in a patient-friendly manner. With this powerful technology portfolio I am confident that we are well placed to play a key role in transforming the therapeutic antibody space, both independently and in partnership.”