RARE Daily

Recipharm and Ahead Partner to Develop Rare Autoimmune Disease Therapy

September 6, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Global contract development and manufacturing organization Recipharm is partnering with Spanish biotech Ahead Therapeutics to develop a new treatment for the rare autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis.

Myasthenia gravis is a rare autoimmune disease that most commonly affects the muscles controlling the eyes and eyelids, facial expressions, chewing, swallowing, and speaking, but can also impact other parts of the body. It is estimated that the condition affects roughly 150,000 people worldwide. At present, there is no cure and treatments are chronic and symptomatic.

Under the agreement, Recipharm will provide analytical and process development capabilities to support toxicology studies, as well as GLP manufacturing of lipid nanoparticles to encapsulate the active pharmaceutical ingredient, an antigen peptide. Recipharm also offers the capacity to scale up manufacturing, ready for commercializing the therapy.

“Autoimmune diseases affect approximately one in ten individuals, meaning 0.8 billion patients globally will be able to benefit from the drugs derived from our platform,” said Martí Dalmases Arnella, CEO of Ahead Therapeutics. “This agreement represents a key milestone and the beginning of an exciting journey.”

Ahead Therapeutics has extensive experience in fighting autoimmune conditions, as well as other orphan diseases. Its newly developed solution for myasthenia gravis — intended for parenteral administration — is based on the use of phospholipid liposomes containing the antigen peptide. Through a biomimetic process, these liposomes can induce antigen-specific immune tolerance, thereby interrupting the autoimmune reaction. By changing the encapsulated autoantigen, the technology can address the treatment of different autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and celiac diseases, among others.

Photo: Martí Dalmases Arnella, CEO of Ahead Therapeutics


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