After close to five years of collaboration Lundbeck and biotech company Ossianix have now reached a scientific breakthrough in developing a method to crack one of the biggest challenges in neuroscience; how to better enable delivery of therapeutic drugs, in our case antibodies, into the brain.
Combining our expertise in the human brain and its diseases with Ossianix’ tools to utilize shark antibodies for use in humans, we have created a new technology based on an antibody from a nurse shark that can be used to transport human antibodies treating Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease into the brain. As such the technology utilizes the 400 million years of nature’s evolution since sharks as the first species developed antibodies.
Lundbeck and Ossianix have now successfully tested the technology in mice with Lundbeck’s antibody programs for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
“This is very promising technology to address one of the biggest hurdles in our research and development work; how to get sufficient quantities of active drug into the brain. If we are able to applicate it in humans it can completely revolutionize our abilities to treat brain diseases,” says Kim Andersen, Senior Vice President, Research.
Like a Trojan horse
In practice the method is to attach the human antibodies to the shark-derived antibody, which acts as a transporter across the blood brain barrier (BBB) protecting the human brain.
Without the transporter the BBB will allow smaller amounts of the antibody in the blood to enter the brain; however the transporter helps much larger quantities through like a Trojan horse. This will amplify the effect of the antibody making the treatment more effective.
This new technology may pave the way for many new and better treatments of brain diseases, even some that can’t be treated today due to the BBB keeping therapeutic drugs from entering the brain. However, as the research is still in a quite early phase, there is a risk that it may not be applicable for use in humans. We will now refine the Ossianix technology with the aim of hopefully testing it in humans.