March 10, 2010

Sea Lane Biotechnologies Demonstrates the Transformative Potential of Surrobodies™
Surrobodies With Functional Tails Provide Significant Advantages Over Antibodies


MENLO PARK, CA, March 10, 2010 – Sea Lane Biotechnologies, LLC (Sea Lane) today announced the creation of Surrobodies™ with designed functions including bi-specific targeted binding and fusions to fully active cytokines.   The study is the cover article of the March 19, 2010 edition of the Journal of Molecular Biology and is available in advance in the online version of that journal.


“Surrobodies with enhanced functions provide opportunities to target diseases that were previously impossible or impractical,” said Richard A. Lerner, MD, president of The Scripps Research Institute and co-author of the paper.   “These results are highly significant because Surrobodies offer a unique ‘plug and play’ scaffold to easily generate the next generation bio-therapeutic molecules that have desirable properties not available in other scaffolds.”


“This enhanced functionality uniquely positions Surrobodies to capitalize on the rapidly growing biotherapeutic space,” said Lawrence Horowitz, CEO of Sea Lane.  “Not only can Surrobodies compete with traditional antigen-binding biotherapeutics with billions of dollars in annual sales, but Surrobodies can also compete with protein or peptide biotherapeutics, to expand their therapeutic opportunities.”  


Humble Origins
Sometimes the best ideas and scientific breakthroughs come from nature itself.  “In this case a whole new class of therapeutics has been made possible by looking at how the body evolves antibodies and freezing in time one of the developmental steps along the way.  This is what Sea Lane has done and the result is what we call a Surrobody – which is, in a sense, nature’s own creation,” said Horowitz.  “It can represent a new class of therapeutics, just as antibodies proved to be. The unique advantage is that surrobodies make it possible to deliver 2, 3 or even 4 agents to the target all at once—a truly unique development.”


Sea Lane continues to leverage key elements from the naturally occurring trimeric preB cell receptor, a predecessor to the mature B cell receptor, to create enhanced Surrobodies.  By making use of the additional free termini offered on the lambda5 and VpreB proteins, the two components of the surrogate light chain, Sea Lane has been able append additional antigen recognition or to fuse a fully active cytokine with natural cell killing activity to a targeted Surrobody. 

“With the freedom provided by these free termini, the possibilities for different combinations of capabilities are endless” according to Ramesh Bhatt, Vice President of Research at Sea Lane. “Because the Surrobody platform is modular, it enables our researchers to readily create Surrobodies of any desired characteristic.”


Effective Against Multiple Disease Types
Li Xu, Principal Scientist at Sea Lane said, “The enhanced Surrobodies we created demonstrate the breadth of possible applications.”  One molecule was designed to more effectively target infectious disease than is possible with a regular antibody by simultaneously targeting multiple sub-types of influenza.  The other molecule reported utilizes the Surrobody to target a highly potent cytokine to cells which could act as a beacon to attract the immune system to more effectively eliminate the marked cell.  Such an enhanced molecule, could have broad utility across a range of diseases such as cancer and infection.


Sea Lane currently has several molecules in addition to those reported here in various stages of discovery and preclinical testing.  “Sea Lane Biotechnologies takes a proactive approach to protecting intellectual property and has an extensive portfolio of patents pending for Surrobodies that will provide the Company with broad protection for this revolutionary and multipotent biotherapeutic scaffold,” said Michael Horowitz, General Counsel of Sea Lane.


The concept of Surrobodies was developed exclusively through the innovative efforts of scientists at Sea Lane Biotechnologies.


For questions or comments, please contact Sea Lane Biotechnologies, LLC public relations at 650-325-7399 or Keith McKeown, The Scripps Research Institute, at 858-784-8134.


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