May 09, 2022

Over the past couple of years, antibodies have become the bestselling drugs in the pharmaceutical market. Currently, antibody-based therapeutics relish unprecedented success, growth in research, and recognition of their potential. It is evident that the promise of the "magic bullet" has been realized on a larger scale. However, pharmaceutical businesses must speed up new drug discovery processes to address the true unmet medical needs. A market player that is effectively changing the face of the biopharmaceutical industry with continuous strides towards developing novel and innovative, first-in-class antibody drugs for patients is AlaMab Therapeutics. Founded in 2017, Alamab's initial portfolio was built upon two novel functional antibody drug candidates licensed from University of Texas through the strategic investment of CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd (HK: 1093). The company focuses on developing and commercializing novel monoclonal antibody therapeutics to benefit patients suffering from indications that have significant unmet treatment options. In 2001, an increasing number of small-molecule targeted drugs for cancer treatment were established, but in the current era, large-molecule antibody-based therapeutics are flourishing. The successful use of monoclonal antibodies for several indications has resulted in immediate recognition of precise and targeted therapeutics with a lower risk of side effects than traditional small molecule therapeutics. AlaMab Therapeutics also targets orphan and rare pediatric diseases with novel monoclonal antibodies to succeed within this rapidly expanding market.


The Genesis of Antibodies after Decades of Research

Many visionaries sought to bring antibodybased drugs to target hemichannels for treating trauma and cancer. One of them is Dr. Jean X. Jiang, a professor of biochemistry and structural biology at University of Texas Health San Antonio. She has researched for almost 30 years to discover two monoclonal antibodies targeting Connexin43 hemichannel, a potential new drug target playing important roles in disease-related processes of neuronal and skeletal tissues. One of the antibodies aims to suppress and further recover form damage after a neurological injury (i.e. spinal cord injury, stroke and osteoarthritis), while the other targets malignant tumors including osteosarcoma and cancer bone metastasis. hemichannels in osteocytes and astrocytes, producing significant therapeutic results. These antibodies are particular for individual Connexin43 hemichannels and do not bind to or interfere with the function of gap junctions formed from two opposing hemichannels on adjacent cells. Additionally, Connexin43 hemichannels are richly expressed in limited tissues, thus minimizing the potential for unintended side effects. Backed by CSPC Pharmaceutical Group's strong support and investment, AlaMab Therapeutics is currently in clinical trials phase I and II, respectively,


Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is a medically complex and lifedisrupting condition that usually begins with a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates the vertebrae. These injuries have a profound, negative impact on the patient's physical, neurological, psychological, and psychosocial well-being. Negative neurological effects induced by acute SCI involve a complex of primary and secondary damage due to the release of pro-inflammatory molecules. The post-injury neuroinflammation results in a glial scar that prevents the neurons from


These novel monoclonal antibodies specifically bind to novel drug target Connexin43 hemichannels. Connexin43 hemichannels are membrane proteins that allow the passage of molecules between the cell and the extracellular environment. The antibodies produce effects on the function of Connexin43 on two programs, ALMB-0166 for acute spinal cord injury and ALMB0168 for bone-involved cancers (osteosarcoma and cancer bone metastasis). These trials are being conducted in multiple countries such as Australia and China first to address the highly populated regions. regenerating to restore neurological function. Connexin43 is upregulated in astrocytes after SCI, and the injury-induced opening of Connexin43 hemichannels releases pro-inflammatory molecules. ALMB0166 inactivates the Connexin43 hemichannels, causing them to close, preventing the release of the pro-inflammatory molecules, and resulting in reduced local inflammation and scar formation.


Bone tumors can either originate in the bone, such as osteosarcoma, or travel to the bone from tumors originating in another location, such as breast, prostate, and lung cancers bone metastases. Osteosarcoma is a rare cancer that primarily strikes people between the ages of 10 and 30. It often occurs in the growth plates of the long bones, such as the legs and arms. There are three major cell types in bone tissues: osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts. Osteocytes comprise over 95% of total bone cells, and they richly express Connexin43 hemichannels. These hemichannels usually are closed but, when activated to open, can release several factors, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP), into the extracellular environment. Several studies have established that extracellular ATP inhibits tumor cells. ALMB-0168 activates the Connexin43 hemichannels, causing them to open and release ATP and other molecules into the environment outside the cells. The local increase in ATP inhibits the growth and spread of the tumor cells.

AlaMab Therapeutics has emerged as a pioneer in developing novel, first-in-class antibody drugs. The company devotes a significant amount of time in educating the regulatory agency and their present and potential investors about their drug target. "We aim to fill in the unmet medical needs and provide the best and affordable care for patients across the globe," states Dr. Qingxi (Charles) Wang, Chairman of AlaMab Therapeutics. 

A Cut Above The Rest

AlaMab Therapeutics has utilized its technology and expertise to create a niche in the market for itself. The firm focuses on innovation and investing its resources more into the clinical and preclinical study of its current core product set and expanding indication portfolio. Using its expertise in drug development, the company is keen on identifying antibodies for the true unmet medical needs and benefit those patients first. While banking on its unique global platform for functional antibody development, AlaMab Therapeutics also has the right mix of technology and resources to conquer the pharmaceutical market in the long run. "We will expand our portfolio and effectively deliver our drugs in the market to ensure our success and longevity," remarks Dr. Yanfeng Zhang, President at AlaMab Therapeutics.

In the pharmaceutical industry, startups usually do not sustain in the long run. However, AlaMab Therapeutics has landed a multibillionaire CSPC pharmaceutical group as its strategic investor. With its integrated capability of new drug discovery, R&D, marketing & sales and manufacturing, and the commitment to developing the first-in-class new drugs, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group is leading the innovation through crossborder collaboration with research institutions and pharmaceutical companies by leveraging these capabilities and pushing its solution portfolio for the patients.

What Lies Ahead

AlaMab Therapeutics has acquired extensive expertise through its technologies, clinical trials, and collaborations. The firm has several other disease indications under consideration, including stroke, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, among others in the development pipeline. AlaMab Therapeutics is also performing pre-clinical investigations into additional drug targets, potential drug combinations with these antibodies, and new antibody entities. The company also intends to build more molecules through in house innovation or licensing, combine those assets with its current portfolio, and test them for further expansion of its solution set.

In the future, the firm will be eyeing more collaborations with big companies to develop large molecule-based antibodies. Such collaborations will assist AlaMab Therapeutics in meeting its goal and bringing novel drugs to the patients as soon as possible. "AlaMab Therapeutics is playing a leading role in the clinical stage of the biopharmaceutical industry through its first-in-class drugs and by formulating a clinical strategy in China and the United States, resulting in a one-of-akind operating model," concludes Yanfeng Zhang.

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