arGEN-X, a clinical stage human monoclonal antibody therapeutics company, announces it has successfully generated potent antibody antagonists of Nav1.7, using its proprietary SIMPLE Antibody™ technology.
Nav1.7 has been thoroughly validated as a therapeutic target in chronic pain, yet no antibody-based antagonists have been developed to date. Drugs targeting ion channels such as Nav1.7 require exquisite target selectivity and specificity to avoid unwanted side effects, which makes antibodies a preferred and highly desirable class of drug.
Using the SIMPLE Antibody™ platform, arGEN-X scientists have isolated a diverse panel of human Nav1.7-specific antibodies that possess such selectivity and lack cross-reactivity with related Nav family members. Several antibody candidates tested in in vitro electrophysiology assays have been shown to potently antagonize the function of the channel. Further specificity analysis reveals a subset of functional antibody clones capable of recognizing the rodent ortholog of the target, enabling in vivo pharmacology studies.
arGEN-X's Nav1.7 research program has been supported by a grant of €1.3 million awarded by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT), specifically to enable arGEN-X to leverage SIMPLE Antibody™ into challenging disease targets.