Adapting human monoclonal antibodies for veterinary use
The vast data set from the human monoclonal antibody experience has driven and facilitated the adaptation of this therapeutic modality to treat diseases in pets. Other factors that support bringing the monoclonal antibody therapeutic revolution to companion animals are, the willingness and expectation amongst many pet owners to provide the best available care for their sick companions, and fundamentals in the animal health market - increases in numbers of pets, money spent on pets and pet life-span. Animal health companies have understood the therapeutic and economic potential of adapting human monoclonal antibodies to treat pets, the so called "Petization". HypoPet's vaccine technology can leverage the experience of monoclonal antibodies which have already achieved proof of principle (efficacy, safety & commercial) in humans and in some cases companion animals.
Vaccines versus monoclonal antibody therapies
Despite remarkable success, monoclonal antibody therapies have some significant drawbacks. They can lose their effectiveness due to induction of anti-drug antibodies. Whilst they are adapted to the relevant species (i.e. humanized or peticized), they are not customized for each patient. These slight differences can result in the induction of anti-monoclonal antibodies in the patient. Indeed human experience has shown that up to 15% of patients develop anti-drug antibodies. The problem is likely to be worse in pets. Furthermore, monoclonal antibody therapy costs are high which limits their access. This is due to the fact that manufacture involves complicated biological processes and expensive purification steps. Another consideration is that high doses are required and dosing is relatively frequent, typically every 4 weeks.
Vaccines are an alternative modality for generating therapeutic antibodies. Vaccines do not induce anti-drug antibodies because they instruct the patient to make their own antibodies. Additionally, vaccines can be significantly less expensive than monoclonal antibodies due to the requirement of lower doses (100 to 1000 fold less) and dosing is less frequent (2 - 3 times per year). HypoPet’s vaccines have the advantage of lower cost of goods and more flexible pricing options for pet owners and insurers. This results in significant advantages in convenience and compliance to the consumer.