PetMedix™ is pleased to announce a collaboration with Zoetis to develop novel, fully species-specific companion animal monoclonal antibody therapeutics (mAbs) using PetMedix’s proprietary transgenic platforms. As part of the collaboration, PetMedix will undertake discovery activities against a number of key targets, and Zoetis has an exclusive option to develop and bring these therapies to market.
Having brought three novel mAbs to market to date, Zoetis is a leader in companion animal antibody therapeutics, including fully species-specific antibodies. Their end-to-end research and development expertise in veterinary antibody therapeutics coupled with their manufacturing, sales and marketing scale and success makes them a strong partner for PetMedix. This is well complemented by PetMedix’s strengths in antibody discovery, thanks to the combination of its proprietary transgenic platforms and its team of nearly 50 world-class scientists at its labs in Cambridge, UK.
“We are excited to be partnering with Zoetis. Bringing together our unique pet antibody discovery engine with their proven ability to not just develop antibodies, but also make them a commercial success, is set to be a winning combination. PetMedix’s mission is to elevate expectations in pet care, and we feel that this collaboration is another step towards that.” – Dr Tom Weaver, CEO PetMedix.
While there are many technologies that have been used to develop human therapeutic antibodies, 40 years of research has shown the benefits of antibodies that are 100% species-matched to the patient. Of the two most prevalent technologies to develop fully human antibodies, transgenic rodent platforms and phage display, the transgenic-based methods have yielded many more approved therapeutics in spite of being the newer technology1. Monoclonal antibodies from transgenic platforms have also been significantly more commercially successful in human medicine, with ten transgenic mAbs exceeding $1B in sales in 2020, compared to just two phage mAbs in the same period2.
PetMedix is looking to build on this success for companion animals. Its Ky9™ and Felyne™ platforms are designed in the same way as the gold-standard human transgenic platforms, such as the IntelliSelect™ platform of Kymab (now a Sanofi company) and the Velocimmune™ platform of Regeneron. This discovery collaboration with PetMedix also marks the third publicly announced deal that Zoetis has done with companies using transgenic platforms for antibody discovery, with PetMedix providing a novel technology designed specifically for canine and feline antibodies.
“At Zoetis, we are committed to continuing our leadership to develop and discover new therapeutic antibodies that can help pets live longer, healthier lives. Collaborating with PetMedix complements our own research and development activities, and we are pleased to be working with them to explore areas of unmet clinical needs in pets.” – Robert J. Polzer, Executive Vice President and President, Research and Development at Zoetis.
This collaboration, alongside the one announced in January 2021 with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, form part of PetMedix’s long term strategy for bringing transformative new therapies to market. PetMedix has an extensive internal pipeline, discovered in house using its proprietary platforms, and is looking ahead at the best routes to get these novel medicines into the hands of veterinarians.
Dr Fabian Kausche, PetMedix Chair, commented on the importance of this deal for the company’s longer-term ambitions, “Our partnering strategy is to work with the best and most experienced animal health corporates in order to develop the close relationships that will form the basis of PetMedix’s future success. These deals have been structured to demonstrate to our partners the quality of the platforms we have created and the antibodies they can produce, whilst retaining full independence with our internal pipeline and its numerous assets.”