MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 9, 2013) - Alethia Biotherapeutics Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, announced today that a "composition of matter" patent no. 8,540,988 entitled "Polynucleotides and Polypeptide Sequences involved in the Process of Bone Remodeling" was recently issued in the United States. This key patent provides broad protection for antibodies that target Siglec-15 and also having osteoclast differentiation or bone resorption inhibitory activity. Siglec-15 is a cell surface receptor that is specifically expressed on osteoclasts, the cells responsible for bone degradation. Mr. Yves Cornellier, President & CEO of Alethia commented, "This issuance is the latest of four significant patents awarded to Alethia in the last 18 months that together confer a unique and robust intellectual property estate on Siglec-15 and our lead development program".
Dr. Mario Filion, Chief Scientific Officer of Alethia commented, "We are pleased to be awarded this fourth Siglec-15 related patent. We recently selected a product candidate to this target and results obtained in cynomolgus monkeys with this monoclonal antibody demonstrated potent and sustained anti-resorptive activity coupled with maintenance of bone formation; a profile that, if achieved in the clinic, would differentiate this product from both pure anti-resorptives such as RANK ligand inhibitors and the bisphosphonates".
Bone density and structure is maintained through a balance of bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone deposition by osteoblasts. The combination of simultaneous resorption and deposition produces continual remodeling of bone. However, excessive osteoclast activity leads to an imbalance and a loss of bone density, causing bone loss. Alethia identified Siglec-15 in a screen designed to discover new regulators of osteoclast differentiation with the aim of developing inhibitors with improved specificity and novel mechanisms of action. Studies conducted by Alethia have confirmed the importance of Siglec-15 for the resorptive activity of osteoclasts and in rodent models of bone loss demonstrated that inhibiting Siglec-15 with an antibody produces significant increases in bone mineral density. The rodent models also showed that these improvements in BMD were the result of combined antiresorptive activity with maintenance of bone formation.
About Alethia Biotherapeutics Inc.
Alethia is a privately held, Montreal-based pre-clinical stage biotechnology company created in 2002. Alethia develops monoclonal antibody therapeutics to novel clinically relevant targets identified using its patented STAR discovery technology. BDC Capital and Go Capital provided seed financing to Alethia in 2008 and, in conjunction with AgeChem Venture Fund, provided Alethia's Series A financing in 2010.