Discovery Research - an agonistic antibody

Scientists at Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia were behind the discovery of an agonistic antibody to IL-21.

In order to enhance the immunostimulatory effects of interleukin-21 (IL-21), Charles Mackay, Di Yu, Remy Robert and co-workers set about generating an agonistic monoclonal antibody (mAb) to human IL-21 (hIL-21).

A library of anti-hIL-21 mAbs was screened to identify agonistic clones.  The clone 2P2 was identified, and shown to enhance hIL-21 activity by more than 10-fold in a cellular proliferation assay.

The mAb also demonstrated agonistic activity in virus-infected cell cytotoxicity assays and in mice humanised with hIL-21 and the hIL-21 receptor (hIL-21R) and infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). In the chronically infected mice, 2P2 + IL-21 treatment enhanced the generation of functional virus-specific CD8+ T cells, leading to an early resolution of the infection.

Pio Tx has licensed 2P2 from Monash University and is developing the antibody as the company’s first asset, PIO-001.