Allakos, Inc. today announced the expansion of a license agreement with The Johns Hopkins University relating to the intellectual property of Siglec-8, a potential therapeutic target for a variety of diseases related to inflammation and fibrosis, and antibodies to Siglec-8. Under the expanded agreement, Allakos has exclusive rights to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine patents and intellectual property covering antibodies to Siglec-8 for therapeutic or diagnostic use.
“Siglec-8 is an inhibitory receptor present exclusively on mast cells, eosinophils and basophils,” said Bruce Bochner, MD, the Samuel M. Feinberg Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University. “Antibodies to this receptor have potential for use in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of inflammatory and allergic diseases in which Siglec-8 expressing cells play a role in the biology of the disease.” Dr. Bochner is a co-inventor of the licensed technology and co-founder of Allakos, and is also formerly Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“Allakos has made rapid progress in developing therapeutic antibodies targeting Siglec-8,” commented Dr. Robert Schleimer, the Roy and Elaine Patterson Professor and Chief of Allergy and Immunology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and formerly Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The company has demonstrated activity of these antibodies in a number of preclinical models, and is currently conducting clinical studies with these antibodies in indications where mast cells or eosinophils are known to play a role in the disease.” Professor Schleimer is also a co-inventor of the licensed technology and co-founder of Allakos.
Christopher Bebbington, Chief Executive Officer of Allakos, said, “We are delighted to expand our license agreement with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We continue to strengthen our intellectual property position relating to antibodies to Siglec-8 for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, including our lead antibody candidates AK001 and AK002, both of which target the Siglec-8 receptor.”
Allakos, a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company, is a scientific leader in the field of mast cell and eosinophil biology focusing on the central role these immune system cells play in the pathology of severe inflammatory, fibrotic and proliferative diseases. The company is developing therapeutic antibodies that target a key receptor, Siglec-8, on the surface of mast cells and eosinophils and selectively inhibit the cells’ activity or deplete them from blood and tissues. Antibodies against Siglec-8 offer potential for the development of a broad range of proprietary first-in-class treatments for both serious illnesses affecting large patient populations and rare diseases for which no effective treatments exist. The company currently has two drug candidates in clinical development. AK001 is in a Phase 2 trial for patients with moderate to severe nasal polyposis (with or without asthma). AK002 is in Phase 1 trials in healthy volunteers and in patients with systemic mastocytosis. The company also has a third program focused on development of antibodies that target a novel checkpoint inhibitor for immuno-oncology applications. For further information, please visit http://www.allakos.com.