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Company Overview

 

Anogen-Yes Biotech Laboratories Ltd. (since 1989)

Anogen is the trade name of Yes Biotech Laboratories Ltd., a Canadian biopharmaceutical company located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Our company has been producing antibody products for research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications for more than twenty-eight years. Our broad technology platform enables us to design and develop a variety of products including monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, immunoassay kits, matched antibody pairs, immunoglobulin, bioactive peptides, recombinant proteins and humanized monoclonal antibodies with high producers. We distribute our products worldwide. Our name is a recognized quality supplier to research organizations and large antibody suppliers. We are committed to developing and commercializing antibody-related therapeutics and diagnostics to combat various diseases including inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.  To ensure that our customers are provided with the highest level of quality products and services, Anogen is ISO 13485 certified since 2000.

A milestone of Life Science in the 20th century is the mapping of human genome by genomics and transcriptomics technologies.  So far, approximately 20,000 to 30,000 genes have been mapped out on human genome.  Many genes encode multiple proteins.  There are estimated more than two million human proteins accomplishing a human life.  Understanding the function and structure of these proteins is important for the wellbeing of mankind.  Proteomics has become the new endeavour of life science research.  To carry out the broad-scale experiments on these proteins, millions of specific antibodies (or other binding ligands) are needed.    Furthermore, antibodies have become a novel resource for pharmaceutical study and dozens of them have been successfully utilized in of therapeutic applications.  The gap between antibody supply and demand has been huge.  Developing new antibodies will not only fulfil the request from life science research, but also provide a valuable reservoir for diagnostics and therapeutics development.  We believe that antibodies are a group of the most promising biological products in the 21st century.

Anti-“Cytokine Storm” using neutralizing monoclonal antibodies to chemokines

External microbe is the worst enemy during an outbreak of influenza or bronchitis.  However, our own immune system is potentially lethal.   The excessive inflammatory cytokines and chemokines produced during immune-response can do more harm to the body than infection does.  The term “Cytokine Storm” was first used by a group of Boston scientists to describe the observation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine release in graft-versus-host (GVHD) disease.  This expression later become a popular term for describing the extensive cytokine production in infectious and non-infectious diseases including sepsis, avian influenza, H1N1 influenza, SARS coronavirus infection, smallpox outbreak, Ebola virus infection, GVHD, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), trauma, and so on.  Historic evidences have shown that young adults suffered more severe complications and higher mortality in pandemic, owing to the ability of their immune system to initiate a more powerful cytokine storm.  Most of the disastrous natural diseases have been put into control by vaccination and other prevention measures.  However, it is not sufficient to confront outbreaks associated with environmental changes and mutations of pathogens, and the deliberate release of pathogen by terrorists.  One of Anogen's major projects is advancing a new bio-defence strategy to prevent "Cytokine Storm" using anti-cytokine antibodies.  

Antibody-based therapy (passive immunity) has been used for treatment of anthrax, tularemia, plague, rabies, snake bites, spider bites and digoxin toxicity.  The earliest was applied in the late 19thcentury, meaning more than 100 years’ experience in this technology.   Traditionally, polyclonal antibodies that were raised by immunizing another species with the pathogen or toxin, or the serum from recovered patients, were used for the therapy.  The heterogeneous antibodies bind and inactivate pathogen/toxin to remove the source of the disease.   However, such treatment is not guaranteed effective in advanced infection, and is not applicable for transplant rejection, trauma, auto-immune disease and other non-infectious conditions associated with massive cytokine releasing.  As the modern immunology revealed more details about the disease, medicines that target patient’s immune system to control “Cytokine Storm” are under evaluation.  These include OX40-Ig, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocks, corticosteroids, Gemfibrozil, antioxidants and TNF-alpha blockers.  Antibodies that directly target cytokines are being studied as cytokine storm blockers.  As a matter of fact, anti-TNF-alpha antibody therapy has been successfully used for controlling the chronic TNF-alpha releasing in rheumatoid arthritis.  A polyclonal anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) antibody was shown to reduce mortality in a mouse GVHD model. 

It is important to investigate the unique cytokine profile in different conditions in order to provide a suitable treatment.  In our investigation during the SARS outbreak in China in 2004, we dynamically tested a panel of four cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and TNF-α) in the serum of 210 SARS patients.  The results showed that among the four cytokines the serum levels of IL8 and MCP-1 were constantly higher than other two cytokines in SARS:

Chemokines

Normal individuals (15 cases)

SARS (210 cases)

Acute Phase

Recovery Phase

MCP-1 (pg/ml)

436.2±21.5

1241.2±245.6

565.7±79.1

IL-8 (pg/ml)

0

149.7±98.1

0.6±0.4

Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2) and Interleukin-8 (CXCL8) are inflammatory cytokines that belong to the chemokine family.  Chemokines trigger the recruitment of inflammatory cells into tissues during inflammation, hence, are important mediators of both acute and chronic inflammation.   MCP-1 and IL-8 may represent targets for diagnostic procedure and therapeutic intervention, and may be useful as a prognostic predictor in infectious or noninfectious inflammatory diseases.  The development of humanized antibody allows using antibodies in human with minimal toxicity.  Yes Biotech has developed humanized chimeric monoclonal antibodies to IL-8 and MCP-1 with specific neutralizing activity since 2004.  The prevention and treatment of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) with chimeric anti-IL8 antibody on animal model has been published in 2010 (International Immunopharmacology.  2010: 259-263, “Humanized monoclonal antibody against the chemokine CXCL-8 (IL-8) effectively prevents acute lung injury”).  We believe that the antibody-based therapy has great potential in controlling chemokine mediated tissue damage and respiratory failure during acute inflammatory response.Yes Biotech is one of the earliest biotech companies in the world to devote oneself to “anti-cytokine storm” projects.   In 1993, Yes Biotech has initiated the development of appropriate antibody technology for topical treatment of psoriasis, a skin disease associated with persistent local IL-8 release.  The study was at first challenged by the concept that normal skin tissue has a natural barrier preventing macromolecules like antibodies to permeate.  Psoriatic skin is characterized by microvascular hyperpermeability and angioproliferation.  Our research found that psoriatic epidermis also demonstrated an abnormal permeability barrier.  Phages (49x330nm) and dextran (weighs 153,000), which are larger than antibody molecules, could pass through the psoriatic skin.  The impaired skin barrier allows its permeability to reach 10 times of the level in normal skin.  “Abcream”, a topical cream containing monoclonal antibody to IL-8 had completed phase I-IV clinical trials in 18 hospitals in China for treating psoriasis and Eczema.  The treatment has been approved by State Food & Drug Administration (SFDA) of China in 2001 and has been granted international patents in many countries. 

It is also worthwhile to become aware of other diseases associated with persistent chemokine release.  Similar countermeasure could be useful in treating these diseases:

Some diseases found to be medicated by chemokines:

Asthmatic reaction

MCP-1, MIP-1α and RANTES

Acute pulmonary disease (SARS, ARDS)

IL-8, MCP-1, ENA78 and RANTES

Endotoxemia and sepsis

IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1αand RANTES

Eczema and psoriasis

IL-8

Rheumatoid arthritis

IL-8, MCP-1, ENA78, MIP-1α

Osteoarthritis

MIP-1β

Immune complex glomerulonephritis

IL-8, MCP-1

Wound healing site

MCP-1, IP-10

During 28 years in business, Anogen-Yes Biotech has developed hundreds of hybridoma clones secreting antibodies against inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.  The hybridomas could produce enormous public health and economic benefit, once proven effective in clinical applications.   In addition, Yes Biotech has also developed hundreds of monoclonal antibodies against other targets such as tumour tissues and tumour biomarkers, Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, acute-phase proteins, blood coagulation factors, transcription factors, and hormones.  Anogen-Yes Biotech Laboratories Ltd. is one of the most vibrant biotech companies in the world.