07 Apr 2022
Lonza and Asher Biotherapeutics to Collaborate on Manufacturing AB359, a Cis-Targeted IL-2 Immunotherapy
  • Lonza to provide drug substance manufacturing for Asher Bio’s molecule, AB359, a cis-targeted IL-2 immunotherapy
  • Drug substance manufacturing to be carried out at Lonza’s Slough, UK, site
  • Project reflects Lonza’s growing focus on bispecific antibodies and emerging biotechs

Basel, Switzerland, 07 April 2022 – Asher Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Asher Bio), a biotechnology company developing precisely targeted immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, and Lonza, a global manufacturing partner to the pharma, biotech and nutrition industries, announced today that they have entered into a manufacturing agreement for AB359, a cis-targeted IL-2 fusion protein.

AB359 selectively activates the IL-2 pathway in CD8+ T cells. Unlike conventional immunotherapies that act on multiple cell types, cis-targeted immunotherapies are designed to selectively activate only the immune cell types that drive the desired therapeutic response – hence reducing side effects and optimizing activity through a new level of selectivity. AB359 is intended to broaden Asher Bio’s application of cis-targeted immunotherapies to chronic infectious diseases.

Under the manufacturing agreement, Lonza will provide drug substance manufacturing for AB359 for preclinical and clinical testing. Work on this program starts in March 2022 at Lonza’s Slough (UK) site. Bi- and multi-specific molecules are a growing part of Lonza’s portfolio.

Julie Trulson, Head of CMC, Asher Bio, commented: “I’m looking forward to collaborating with Lonza on this program. Lonza’s determination in implementing steady improvements, and offering its customers a more integrated experience, will be essential as we advance our cis-targeted immunotherapies closer to patients.”

Jeetendra Vaghjiani, Executive Director, Clinical Development and Strategic Marketing, Lonza, added: “This collaboration marks our commitment and flexibility in tailoring our offering to the specific needs of emerging biotechs. Our teams have built the capabilities and experience, including more complex protein formats, to help take Asher Bio’s AB359 from development into the clinic.”