Anti-CD160 in Ophthalmology

Identified and characteried by Dr Armand BENSUSSAN and Dr Philippe LE BOUTEILLER, the CD160 receptor is highly expressed on the surface of activated endothelial cells that line the new blood vessels present in most tumors. It is also associated with vascular anarchic proliferation that is found in eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy affecting some patients and premature children. In both cases, CD160 helps regulate uncontrolled vascularization: once bound to its natural ligand (the signal recognized by the receptor, in this case the self molecule HLA-G and HVEM, the receptor which serves as an entry route for the Herpes virus), it activates and triggers the death of activated endothelial cells of new vessels. Conversely, existing vessels are stabilized since they fail to express CD160 on their surface.

To reduce vascular proliferation (anti-angiogenesis), scientists have generated and characterized an antibody against the CD160 receptor. This antibody, an agonist, reproduces and amplifies the action of the ligand to trigger the death of new vessels while stabilizing existing vessels. Today, the effectiveness of this approach has already been validated in different animal models of eye diseases.

Today, the company has initiated two antibody programs in ophthalmology. In AMD, it is conducting proof-of-concept preclinical trials using different humanized versions of this antibody, alone or in combination (ELB011 program), and is evaluating the activity of a panel of bispecific antibodies in neo-vascular glaucoma and proliferative retinopathy (ELB012 program). These programs are currently being developed in close collaboration with the teams of Armand BENSUSSAN and Philippe LE BOUTEILLER.