Our Programs

How do we target the HGF/MET pathway?

We are advancing a set of full- and partial agonistic HGF-mimetic antibodies that bind to MET with high affinity. By promoting receptor dimerization and activation, the full agonistic antibodies resemble the molecular action of HGF and evoke the same biological activities elicited by the natural ligand. Meanwhile, the partial agonistic antibodies have the capability to selectively activate intracellular signaling pathways that are relevant to specific pathologies. These MET-targeted agonistic antibodies overcome all the intrinsic limitations of HGF and allow us to fully exploit the promising therapeutic potential of the HGF/MET pathway in the clinic.

OUR MET-AGONISTIC ANTIBODIES PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES

High target specificity

Ligand-receptor interactions are very complex and cannot easily be mimicked by drugs. Especially when targeting the HGF/MET axis, it is of great importance to employ specific agonists that bind directly to MET, which has not been achieved so far. In contrast to other HGF-mimetics, especially small molecules, our MET-agonistic antibodies are highly specific for MET and can therefore faithfully reproduce HGF biology without causing off-target effects.

Excellent drug-like properties

While MET-agonistic antibodies maintain the full therapeutic potential of HGF from a biological viewpoint, they display the excellent drug-like properties of antibodies: high stability, long half-life, facilitated biodistribution and possibility to tune effector functions by protein engineering.

Species cross-reactivity

Our MET-agonistic antibodies have been designed and selected for full cross-reactivity with human, non-human primate and rodent MET. They not only cross-react, but they also display the same biological activity in all the corresponding species-specific cell systems, allowing thorough characterization of the selected candidates for efficacy and safety in animal models prior to the initiation of clinical trials.

Established manufacturing processes

The industrial manufacturing of clinical grade antibodies follows established procedures, ensuring high yields as well as a long shelf life. In addition, the clinical use of antibodies has been – and continues to be – validated in millions of patients in a large variety of different indications.

“Our lead candidate, AGMB-101, a full MET agonist, enables us to demonstrate the superiority of our approach which substitutes the potent but short-lived action of HGF with the specific and long-lasting activity inherent to monoclonal antibodies in order to achieve effective and persistent disease modification in a number of indications with high unmet medical need.”

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Torsten Dreier, Chief Development Officer

OUR LEAD CANDIDATE – AGMB-101

Our lead candidate stems from a set of full and partial HGF-mimetic MET agonistic antibodies that were developed using argenx’s validated SIMPLE antibodyTM technology platform. AGMB-101 is a full MET agonist and is currently undergoing final IND-enabling studies. Manufacturing for both IND-enabling and clinical studies is already established with our partner Lonza to enable a smooth transition towards the clinic.