KBI 3-Way Collaboration Targets Inflammatory Diseases

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With apologies to Marvin Gaye, it sometimes takes three – rather than two – to make a dream come true. 

Case in point. KBI Biopharma – a contract services organization the North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped lure to Durham more than a decade ago – is working with two other companies to develop a novel therapy to treat inflammatory diseases. 

KBI is now a part of JSR Corporation. It and another JSR life sciences company, Selexis SA, have joined forces with ZyVersa Therapeutics to speed the development of ZyVersa’s inflammasome inhibitor, IC 100. The drug is designed to treat a number of inflammatory conditions, including multiple sclerosis and diabetic kidney disease.

ZyVersa will use Selexis’ cell line expression technologies and KBI’s contract manufacturing services to get IC 100 to clinical trials faster. The arrangement also includes a commercial licensing agreement between Selexis and InflamaCORE, LLC, the product’s licensor.

IC 100 is a monoclonal antibody that blocks a person’s overactive inflammatory response, which significantly reduces inflammation. The drug inhibits the ASC adaptor – the scientific name is apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain – that is a component of inflammasomes. These multi-protein signaling units are part of the body’s first line of defense against foreign or infectious organisms and cell damage. But overactive inflammasomes can lead to inflammatory diseases. 

ZyVersa uses a distinctive method to control inflammasome response. “IC 100 has the potential to transform treatment of debilitating inflammatory diseases by inhibiting ASC, which is a component of multiple types of inflammasomes,” said Stephen Glover, co-founder, chief executive officer and president of ZyVersa.

Igor Fisch, Ph.D., CEO of Selexis, agreed. “ZyVersa’s approach to inflammasome inhibition is unique and has the potential to more effectively reduce the inflammation that occurs in patients with inflammatory diseases...,” he said.

CEO says collaboration will speed development

Tim Kelly, Ph.D., president and CEO of KBI Biopharma, heralded the collaboration as “an ideal opportunity to leverage our fully integrated offering to advance IC 100 into clinical studies...” He said KBI’s strengths in process development and analytics – combined with Selexis’ experience in mammalian cell line generation – provide an integrated platform that can advance product development from DNA to drug substance in as little as nine months. The collaboration will provide predictable delivery of materials for clinical studies. And it has the potential to bring product to market faster, with lower manufacturing costs.

KBI, originally a spinout of Atlanta life sciences company Kinetic Biosystems, settled in Durham in 2003 with the help of a $1 million startup loan from NC Biotech. KBI and Selexis – which is located in Switzerland – are now affiliate companies of JSR Life Sciences, a business unit of JSR Corporation. JSR is a leading materials supplier in a variety of technology driven markets that is headquartered in Japan.

Florida based ZyVersa Therapeutics is a clinical stage specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on inflammatory and renal diseases that have significant unmet medical needs. IC 100 is the company’s lead inflammasome inhibitor.

Bryant Haskins, NCBiotech Writer
Mon, 09/09/2019 - 11:27