Asher Biotherapeutics Inc has expanded its manufacturing agreement with Lonza to include the manufacturing of AB248.
Asher Biotherapeutics is a developer of targeted immunotherapies for cancer, chronic viral infections and autoimmune disorders. AB248, Asher Bio’s lead cis-targeted immunotherapy, is a fusion protein that selectively activates the IL-2 pathway in cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which are key drivers of anti-tumour efficacy. By maximizing the activity of IL-2 on CD8+ T cells, while limiting its activity on immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) and NK cells, AB248 is designed to deliver improved on-target pharmacology, anti-tumour immunity, and enhanced tolerability. Asher Bio is developing AB248 for the treatment of multiple solid tumours, as both a monotherapy and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lonza will manufacture AB248 at its site in Visp (CH), providing drug substance manufacturing for Phase II clinical supply. Since fusion proteins are manufactured by joining two or more genes encoding separate proteins, their manufacturing requires specific experience with solving protein folding and stability limitations. Asher Bio will leverage Lonza’s expertise in manufacturing complex proteins, as well as the company’s extensive regulatory competence, tech transfer expertise and manufacturing network. The agreement aims to commence manufacturing in Q2/2023.