IgGenix Advances Therapeutic Approach to Peanut Allergies with IgG4 Monoclonal Antibodies

by Irina Bilous          Biopharma insight

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IgGenix, Inc., a California-based preclinical antibody discovery and development company, recently reported advances towards a potential therapeutic solution for peanut allergies based on IgG4 monoclonal antibodies.

 

Severe allergic reactions, anaphylaxis being the most extreme form, pose a significant public health concern worldwide. Peanut allergies, in particular, are a prime cause of such severe reactions, impacting both adults and children. The current treatment strategies primarily revolve around allergen avoidance and emergency response to accidental exposure. While allergen-specific immunotherapy, which involves regular administration of small doses of the allergen to build tolerance, is available, its widespread implementation is hindered by the risk of severe adverse reactions and the lengthy treatment duration. 

IgGenix is developing a new approach to allergic disease treatment. The company's expertise lies in harnessing the power of monoclonal antibodies to mitigate severe allergies. Their proprietary SEQ SIFTER™ discovery platform, developed by co-founders Stephen Quake, Kari Nadeau, and Derek Croote of Stanford University, is designed to isolate and re-engineer fully human, high-affinity, allergen-specific antibodies.

 

IgGenix's novel approach of re-engineering antibodies

The recently announced findings on peanut allergy therapeutics indicate substantial progress on this front. Using their proprietary technology, IgGenix has re-engineered human IgE antibodies to produce monoclonal IgG4 antibodies. In initial tests, these antibodies successfully inhibited allergic plasma IgE from interacting with recombinant Ara h 2 in vitro and curbed peanut-induced mast cell and basophil activation.

The process of re-engineering IgE antibodies into IgG4 is not common in the field of immunology. This innovative approach by IgGenix represents a novel strategy in the context of allergy therapeutics. The idea stems from the roles of IgE and IgG4 in the human immune system. IgE antibodies are known to play a crucial role in allergic reactions. When they bind to allergens, they can trigger cells to release chemicals that cause allergic symptoms. On the other hand, IgG4 antibodies are often considered as 'blocking' antibodies because they can interfere with the interaction between allergens and IgE antibodies, preventing the initiation of an allergic reaction.

In the case of IgGenix's work, they are leveraging the properties of these antibodies by isolating high-affinity, allergen-specific IgE antibodies and re-engineering them into IgG4 antibodies. This strategy aims to maximize the blocking potential of IgG4 against allergen-IgE interaction, thereby preventing severe allergic reactions. While this approach is still in the research phase, it represents a promising potential avenue for allergy therapeutics.

This novel approach by IgGenix holds the potential to address severe food and environmental allergies across the pediatric and adult patient population. With their advances in high-affinity IgG4 antibody generation, IgGenix paves the way towards establishing a new standard of care for preventing severe allergic reactions. 

 

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