Biotechnology

Mage Bio to develop oral antibody therapy for ulcerative colitis

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TVM Capital Life Science and specialty pharmaceuticals company Tillotts Pharma will jointly invest up to $28 million in newly formed US biotechnology company Mage Biologics Inc.

TVM will invest with the TVM Life Science Innovation II SCSp (TVM LSI II) fund and will provide strategic advice to Mage Bio. Mage Bio is the 10th early-stage investment or project-focused company (PFC) for TVM LSI II.

Mage Biologics plans to advance to clinical proof of concept a novel, orally administered, bioengineered human monoclonal antibody (mAb) for optimal potency and tissue penetration. The mAb has been developed by Tillotts and stems from a discovery collaboration with the Swiss biotech company Numab Therapeutics.

Clinical trial applications in 2024

Utilizing Tillott’s sustained-release approach, the antibodies are designed to allow drug release in the appropriate area of ​​the intestinal tract at a predetermined rate to optimally and locally address inflammation. Initially, the drug will be developed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Manufacture of clinical grade materials is planned to begin in 2023, with a target of submitting clinical trial applications in 2024.

Thomas A. Tóth von Kiskér, CEO and board director of Tillotts, said: “We are excited to work with TVM Capital Life Science to advance this oral antibody in ulcerative colitis, a lifelong disease that profoundly affects patients’ quality of life. The collaboration with TVM supports Tillotts’ leading role in developing and commercializing innovative gastrointestinal products.”

“TVM Capital Life Science is proud to have made Mage Biologics possible. This investment is once again testament to our strong international network and builds on our successful single asset focus on innovative preclinical therapeutic agents,” said Sascha Berger, general partner of TVM Capital Life Science and member of the board of Mage Biologics.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the experienced management team of Johannes Spleiss and Chantal Miklosi, who will serve as CEO and CFO for Mage Biologics, respectively.”

Johannes Spleiss, chief scientific officer at Tillotts and CEO of Mage Biologics, added: “We are taking a new and potentially disruptive approach to addressing the challenges with traditional ulcerative colitis treatments with this oral antibody. Developing more efficacious therapies with a greater likelihood of success and fewer systemic side effects is an important step towards continuing to innovate for the many patients living with this condition. I look forward to advancing our antibody to clinical proof of concept.”

About a project-focused company

For the PFC investment, TVM has an agreement with Eli Lilly and Company, which is a limited partner in TVM LSI II and the former TVM LSI I fund, whereby TVM and its PFC have the option to engage Chorus, a full service independent research and development unit at Lilly, to assist PFC with implementing a lean and focused drug development plan, producing a data package to help define a proof of concept.

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