Biolojic Design Announces that Nektar Therapeutics Has Exercised Its License Option to Develop an AI-Designed Agonistic Antibody Targeting TNFR2 for the Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases

Program is the Product of a Research Collaboration between Biolojic Design and Nektar entered in 2021

TEL AVIV, Israel and SAN FRANCISCO, April 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Biolojic Design, a biotechnology company that uses AI to transform antibodies into intelligent medicinal solutions, today announced that Nektar exercised its license option to develop a program resulting from the companies’ research collaboration initiated in 2021. The research collaboration was established to design and test agonistic antibodies targeting tumor necrosis factor receptor type II (TNFR2), a novel, biologically-validated disease target implicated in a wide range of autoimmune diseases that has been difficult to drug with conventional medicines.

The antibody program selected for development (now known as NKTR-0165) is designed to modulate the TNFR2 pathway in order to agonize - or activate - T regulatory cells and other anti-inflammatory cell populations, making this a promising approach to stimulating the immune system in ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, vitiligo, and other autoimmune disease states. Under the 2021 research agreement, Nektar has tested antibodies computationally designed by Biolojic Design to precisely agonize the TNFR2 receptor.

Following successful preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies, Nektar decided to exercise the license option and has been advancing the program through IND enabling studies since late December, 2023. If the NKTR-0165 candidate proceeds through clinical development, Biolojic Design is entitled to development milestones and sales royalties.

Yanay Ofran, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Biolojic Design: “The unique agonist antibodies directed at TNFR2 are yet another demonstration of the power of Biolojic’s AI platform for antibody design. Not only are these antibodies able to functionally activate TNFR2, they do so in a highly unique fashion. We look forward to seeing Nektar advance this promising molecule through clinical development for the potential benefit of the many patients who suffer from autoimmune disease.”

Jonathan Zalevsky, Chief Research and Development Officer of Nektar: “We’re excited to be advancing NKTR-0165 through IND-enabling studies in 2024, with the goal of filing an IND in the first half of 2025.”

About Biolojic Design

Biolojic Design transforms antibodies into intelligent medicinal solutions through AI and computational design. Biolojic’s platform generated the first AI-designed antibody to enter the clinic, which is now in phase II clinical trials. Biolojic’s platform turns human antibodies into programmable switches with a specific function: agonism, antagonism and conditional binding. The platform can generate multi-specific antibodies that act as logic gates executing “and” or “xor” function. Biolojic’s pipeline focuses on autoimmune and immuno-oncology, unlocking validated pathways that address large unmet needs. For more information about Biolojic Design, and its science and pipeline, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn.


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