Cizzle Biotechnology plc (LON:CIZ), the UK based developer of a blood test for the early detection of a majority of the different forms of lung cancer, has announced the signing of a collaboration with FairJourney Biologics for the development and supply of proprietary key monoclonal antibodies that are the foundation for developing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (“ELISA”), together with appropriate core reagents which are important requirements in the Company’s roadmap for the commercial development of the Company’s prototype CIZ1B biomarker test.
The Company’s strategy, as outlined in its prospectus published in May 2021, is to develop Cizzle Biotechnology’s prototype CIZ1B biomarker test into a commercial, CE marked and/or FDA 510(k) cleared diagnostic immunoassay that can be readily performed as a sufficiently reliable test in a hospital setting.
In order to pursue this goal, the Directors believe that Cizzle Biotechnology’s testing methodology needs to be such that it can be deployed in a standardised sensitive and specific format for potential use in hospital laboratories. To achieve this, one approach is to take the current prototype ELISA assay developed by Cizzle Biotechnology and update it so that it can be performed using a monoclonal antibody or other detector proteins which may meet the requirements of regulatory bodies to bring the test to market. This requires that Cizzle Biotechnology work with a leading manufacturer such as FairJourney Biologics to produce the antibodies and reagents that may be used to validate its test format in clinical trials.
FairJourney Biologics, headquartered in Porto, Portugal, is a leading biologics clinical research organisation (“CRO”), providing integrated services across antibody discovery, engineering and production to global biopharma companies. They have successfully completed more than 500 projects with over 100 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. FairJourney Biologics merged with Cambridge, UK, based IONTAS in 2020 which was founded by John McCafferty, the co-discoverer of antibody phage display for which Professor Sir Greg Winter was awarded the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 2018. Earlier this year FairJourney Biologics opened a new purpose-built state of the art facility to carry out the type of key development activities that will be central to the programme for Cizzle Biotechnology.
Commenting, Allan Syms, Executive Chairman of Cizzle Biotechnology, said: “I am delighted that we have contracted with FairJourney Biologics to develop and supply the monoclonal antibodies and reagents required for our ELISA assay and future diagnostic platforms and tests. FairJourney Biologics is a recognised leader in its field and will be an important partner in our strategy to commercialise as quickly as possible our CIZ1B biomarker test for the early-stage detection of lung cancer.
“Since the admission of Cizzle Biotechnology to trading on the London Stock Exchange in May we are already making significant progress and I look forward to providing further updates in due course.”
Commenting, António Parada, Chief Executive Officer of FairJourney Biologics, said: “We are excited to collaborate with Cizzle Biotechnology in discovering novel antibodies to be used as promising diagnostic tools. We believe that innovative diagnostic platforms such as the CIZ1B biomarker test will be a major step to hinder the progression of lung cancer and improve patient’s prognosis in the long-term.”