Laekna Announces Poster Presentation on Internally-Discovered Antibody for NASH/Liver Fibrosis at NASH-TAG 2024

  • Laekna has developed a proprietary antibody-based drug discovery platform of activated hepatic stellate cells (aHSC) depletion for liver fibrosis.
  • Derived from the platform, LAE105 is a potentially first-in-class drug candidate that depletes aHSC in the fibrotic liver by harnessing innate immunity.

The platform enables Laekna to continually discover better therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of NASH/liver fibrosis

SHANGHAI and WARREN, N.J., Jan. 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Laekna (2105.HK), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, today announced that the company will present a novel therapeutical approach to treat liver fibrosis in the form of a poster at the NASH-TAG conference from January 4-6, 2024, in Park City, Utah. The presentation will showcase a novel antibody-based aHSC depletion discovery platform and introduce preclinical anti-fibrosis data of a bi-functional NK-aHSC engager candidates derived from this platform.

“Derived from this unique platform, LAE105 is a potentially first-in-class drug candidate that targets aHSC surface antigen and recruits immune cells to elicit aHSC clearance. It has demonstrated significant anti-fibrosis activity in preclinical model. ” said Dr. Minhua Zhang, Senior Director of Discovery Research of Biology, Laekna.

Liver fibrosis is one of the main underlying catalysts of liver cancer or liver failure, with the accumulation of aHSC being the main contributors for liver fibrogenesis. Current drug development for NASH and liver fibrosis mainly focuses on lowering lipid accumulation in the liver or reducing liver fibrosis by blocking certain activating signaling proteins of hepatic stellate cells. Laekna has taken a different approach to clear aHSC from the liver by re-engaging innate immunity and established a global-leading and proprietary aHSC depletion discovery platform for liver fibrosis. This platform enables Laekna to continually discover and develop the next generation therapeutics against liver fibrosis and potentially other types of fibrotic diseases.

“We are delighted that Laekna’s preclinical discovery research team has made new progress,” said Dr. Justin Gu, Chief Scientific Officer of Laekna. “Liver fibrosis, metabolic diseases, and cancer are the three major indications that Laekna aims to tackle. Currently, no drugs have been approved for liver fibrosis globally. We are working relentlessly to accelerate drug innovation for liver fibrosis by leveraging our know-how, novel discovery approach, and proprietary platform.”

The NASH-TAG Conference is designed to bring together clinicians and researchers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry for a focused, interactive, educational update highlighting the most relevant advances and challenges in the diagnosis and therapy of NASH and liver fibrosis.

Presentation details are as follows:

Abstract Number: 32

Title: Preclinical characterization of bi-functional NK-aHSC engager for liver fibrosis

Authors: Minhua Zhang, Chaojun Cai, Jinying Zhou, Justin Gu, Chris Lu

Presenter: Dr. Chris Lu, Laekna

Location: Renoir Ballroom, The Chateaux Deer Valley

Date/Time: Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024 (MST)

Abstract Highlights:

In vitro, a panel of antibodies and bi-functional engagers targeting various aHSC targets have demonstrated potent and dose-dependent aHSC killing activity in the presence of human NK cells. Additionally, the antibodies also promoted phagocytosis of aHSC cells by human macrophage. In vivo, antibodies with enhanced effector function showed significant anti-fibrotic effects in two different liver fibrosis animal models.

About Laekna

Founded in 2016, Laekna is a science-driven, clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to bringing novel therapies to cancer and liver fibrosis patients worldwide.

As of June 30, 2023, Laekna has initiated six clinical trials for afuresertib (LAE002), LAE001 and LAE005 to address unmet medical needs in cancers, such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Among the six clinical trials, three are multi-regional clinical trials (MRCTs), including one pivotal trial.

Laekna’s internal drug discovery platform has discovered 12 drug candidates. LAE102 is our first internally discovered antibody which has obtained an IND approval from the FDA. Its potential indications include muscle regeneration, obesity, and cancer.

Laekna, Inc. was listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Hong Kong Stock Exchange”) on June 29, 2023. The stock code is 2105.HK.

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Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” which are not historical facts, but instead are predictions about future events based on Laekna’s current beliefs, assumptions, and expectations, commonly identified by words such as “would”, “may”, “expects”, “believes”, “plans”, “intends”, “projects” and other terms with similar meaning. Although we believe that our predictions are reasonable, future events are inherently uncertain and our actual future results or performance may be materially different from what we expect. Accordingly, you are strongly cautioned that reliance on any forward-looking statements is subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements contained herein are qualified by reference to the cautionary statements set forth in this section. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release and are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date, and we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

Source : Laekna Announces Poster Presentation on Internally-Discovered Antibody for NASH/Liver Fibrosis at NASH-TAG 2024

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