iBio Unveils Revolutionizing ShieldTx Antibody Delivery with AI

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Written By Kevin MacDonald

iBio, Inc. (NYSEA: IBIO), a trailblazer in the biotechnology sector, has made significant strides in expanding its AI-powered technology stack with the introduction of ShieldTx, a groundbreaking antibody masking technology.

Announced on November 1, 2023, this patent-pending innovation is poised to transform the landscape of targeted antibody delivery, offering a beacon of hope for patients suffering from various forms of solid tumours, including ovarian, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

A Leap Forward in Drug Discovery

At the heart of iBio’s technological advancement is ShieldTx, seamlessly integrated into the company’s Drug Discovery Platform. This revolutionary technology is designed to ensure the specific, highly targeted delivery of antibodies to diseased tissue, sparing healthy tissue from potential harm.

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By amalgamating antibody engineering and masking into a singular, accelerated process, ShieldTx stands to address the quintessential challenges of complex targets, safety, and developability that have long plagued next-generation antibody discovery and development.

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Tackling the Challenge of Specificity in Therapy

The genesis of ShieldTx was marked by its application in developing masks for iBio’s MUC16-targeted bispecific antibody candidates. These candidates were initially crafted using iBio’s proprietary Epitope Steering and EngageTx™ AI Platforms.

The innovation behind ShieldTx revolves around the concept of antibody masking—a technique that deactivates antibodies until they encounter a specific enzyme unique to the target diseased tissue.

Upon interaction, the mask is removed, activating the antibody solely where it is needed, thereby enhancing therapeutic safety and reducing the risk of unwanted immune responses.

Redefining Traditional Masking Techniques

Traditionally, antibody masking has been fraught with complexity, necessitating the sequential optimization of both the antibody and its mask—a process that invariably extends development timelines and introduces additional risks.

iBio’s ShieldTx, however, innovates by fine-tuning the mask and antibody concurrently through the StableHu™ antibody optimizer, employing its mammalian display technology. This approach not only streamlines the development process but also elevates the probability of success in generating effective masked antibodies.

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The Potential of ShieldTx Across Therapeutic Areas

The implications of ShieldTx’s successful application are vast and varied. While initially geared towards cancer therapeutics, the potential utility of this technology in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases remains an exciting frontier.

iBio plans to leverage ShieldTx to optimize its existing antibody candidates, notably the bispecific TROP-2 x CD3 molecules developed through its EngageTx antibody panel.

Driving Innovation in Antibody-Based Therapeutics

Underpinning iBio’s mission is the pursuit of unlocking new therapeutic avenues against challenging and complex targets.

“With 40% of approved antibodies targeting merely 10 entities, the imperative for innovation in therapeutic development against new targets is clear,” remarked Martin Brenner, DVM, Ph.D., iBio’s CEO and CSO.

iBio’s commitment to integrating cutting-edge technologies in machine learning, computational biology, and synthetic biology is evident in its rapid development of an integrated end-to-end platform.

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ShieldTx, alongside the earlier introduction of EngageTx, epitomizes iBio’s dedication to crafting the next generation of antibody-based therapeutics.

As iBio continues to forge pathways in the biotechnological realm, ShieldTx stands as a testament to the company’s ingenuity and its unwavering commitment to enhancing the precision and safety of antibody therapies.

With the promise of delivering targeted treatments while minimizing off-tissue effects, ShieldTx heralds a new era in the quest for more effective and safer therapeutic options across a spectrum of diseases.

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