ComplexINC spin-off Abvance to commercialize new immune therapies

February 08, 2017

The advanced technologies for protein complex production generated by ComplexINC have already catalyzed the development of many disrupting innovations and patents in the fields of protein complexomics, structural biology, membrane proteins, gene delivery, genetic code expansion. Lately, a new biopharmaceutical company has been spun out of ComplexINC with the overriding purpose of developing novel antibody-based protein therapeutics: Abvance.

Abvance was founded on September 1st, 2016 by ComplexINC members Cristina Vega and Francisco J. Fernández (who is now Abvance’s CEO) and Santiago Rodríguez de Córdoba, all from the Center for Biological Research of the CSIC in Madrid, Spain. ComplexINC Coordinator Imre Berger and Serge Muyldermans are part of Abvance’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Abvance was born through the confluence of the new technological developments of ComplexINC for the production of complement factors (MultiPichia and MultiYeast) and the expertise on the diagnostic and treatment of complement-associated diseases of the founding partners.

Our immune system works day and night to keep us safe and healthy, protecting us against a bewildering array of diseases and infections. The complement system is one of the branches of the innate immunity, whose major task is fighting off pathogens, antibody-antigen complexes, and apoptotic and cellular debris. To this end, the complement system deploys over 40 soluble enzymes and membrane-associated proteins that target, label and then destroy invading pathogens. The reliance on multicomponent enzymes that trigger self-amplification cascades capable of slaying cells renders us vulnerable to their malfunction, since the excessive activation of the complement system in the absence of a true infection can lead to cellular and tissue damage and the onset of diseases. This is dramatically illustrated by the broad range of immune-related pathologies, autoimmune syndromes and inflammatory conditions resulting from complement dysregulation, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, glomerulonephritis including dense deposit disease (DDD), C3 glomerulonephritis and CFHR5 nephropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ischemic repercussion injury, atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome, paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria and age-related macular degeneration.

“Using sophisticated protein production technologies as those developed by ComplexINC”, explains Francisco J. Fernández, CEO of Abvance, “scientists at Abvance are developing next generation antibody drugs that selectively target key proteins and protein complexes of the complement system whose dysregulation has been firmly established as the root cause of human diseases”. To this end, Abvance is taking advantage of its unique combination of skill sets in the fields of protein expression and engineering, complement and immune system, monoclonal antibody and single-domain antibody production, characterisation and exploitation as therapeutic and biotechnological tools. The protein expression platform of Abvance is also offered to academia and industrial peers through strategic partnerships and alliances.