Infectious diseases are a growing healthcare concern. Since the discovery of antibiotics and vaccination, enormous progress has been made and many lives have been saved. However, more recently, increasing resistance and a more globalized world, require additional effort to maintain that progress. New means of prevention and treatment will be essential to stay ahead of emergent antimicrobial resistance and any new threats.
Hero Biotechnology BV is a Dutch private company dedicated to the development of new treatments for infectious diseases. The company is developing new drugs from research stage to clinical stage focusing on biologicals, especially fully human monoclonal antibodies. The lead compound, IQ-DAA, is a clinical stage antibody mixture for the treatment of inhalation anthrax.
Currently, Hero is developing a dual antibody-based antitoxin for treatment and prophylaxis of inhalation anthrax which provides in a biodefense need. IQ-DAA consists of the fully human monoclonal antibodies (humAbs) IQNPA and IQNLF with respective specificities for Bacillus anthracis’ toxin components Protective Antigen (PA) and Lethal Factor (LF). IQ-DAA is the only antibody-based countermeasure for anthrax consisting of antibodies addressing both the PA and LF components of the lethal anthrax toxin.
IQ-DAA’s efficacy has been studied in animal models for inhalation anthrax, and IQNLF’s safety has been studied in animals and in healthy volunteers. Future steps will include the safety testing of IQNPA and further efficacy testing of the combination.
The antibodies IQNPA and IQNLF have originally been developed by IQ Therapeutics and have been acquired by Hero Biotechnology. Hero was founded and is managed by two key members of the former IQ Therapeutics team that generated and developed these human monoclonal antibodies up to the current clinical stage.