Sydney-based Immutep Limited (ASX: IMM) has been granted a patent by the Japanese Patent Office for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease.
The patent claims are related to “Antibody molecules to LAG-3 and uses thereof” and are directed to LAG525.
LAG525 is a humanised form of Immutep’s IMP701 antibody. The patent is co-owned by Novartis AG and Immutep S.A.S. and will expire in March 2035.
IMP701 is a therapeutic antibody originally developed by Immutep S.A. to target LAG-3. The antibody is able to remove two brakes that prevent the immune system from responding to and killing cancer cells.
Rights to the development and commercialisation of IMP701 were licensed to CoStim Pharmaceuticals in 2012, which was subsequently acquired by Novartis in 2014.
LAG525 is currently being evaluated in five Phase I and/or Phase II clinical trials, in combination with Novartis’ PD-1 inhibitor spartalizumab for the treatment of various cancers.
Novartis has full responsibility for the continued development of the antibody programme and Immutep is eligible to receive development-based milestone payments and royalties on sales following commercialisation of the antibody.