Aptamer Group, the developer of Optimer™ therapeutics and diagnostics, has secured a contract with a top five global pharmaceutical company to develop Optimers to support the development of a novel vaccine candidate for neurodegenerative disease.
The agreement includes an initial upfront payment to Aptamer Group with long term recurring licensing fees for over 10 years upon implementation of the assay into the partner’s global vaccine manufacturing processes.
Aptamer Group will isolate Optimer reagents and incorporate them into an analytical assay with the aim of enabling the vaccine candidate currently in clinical trials to achieve regulatory compliance. The Optimers will be used to develop a potency assay for essential evaluation of the final vaccine. The Optimer reagents are expected to help overcome cross-reactivity issues and allow specific detection and quantification of the active vaccine component within the vaccine additives.
Optimer reagents, which are nucleic acid-based affinity reagents, can bind specifically to a target molecule and act as an antibody alternative. Their ability to fold into distinct secondary or tertiary structures gives them high target affinity and specific binding properties. They are emerging as promising alternatives to antibodies in a range of applications.
Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer, of Aptamer Group, commented: “I am delighted to have established this long-term partnership to further develop the potential of the Optimer platform in biomanufacturing processes that will potentially generate recurring revenues for over 10 years for Aptamer Group. We will be working closely with our partner to support the development and implementation of the Optimer assay to provide effective solutions for vaccine production.
“The increased interest in pursuing Optimer technology as a critical part of clinical programmes offers a strong endorsement of the technology. Optimer reagents are ideal affinity ligands for the detection and quantitation of biological products within complex mixtures, as they are highly specific and offer advantages in cost-effectiveness and consistency for use at scale.”