Abbott and Biotest AG have entered a global agreement to develop and commercialize BT-061, a new anti-CD4 antibody for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis. BT-061 is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for RA and psoriasis, with preclinical studies underway to study its potential use in other immune-related diseases, with the goal to improve efficacy and safety beyond what is available with current therapies.
CD4 is expressed on T-cells and is involved in T-cell mediated modulation of immune responses. BT-061, a humanized monoclonal antibody, works by activating the body’s T-regulatory cells, a subset of T-cells, strengthening a natural function of the body that prevents excessive immune reactions. Unlike other anti-CD4 antibodies, BT-061 does not cause depletion of CD4 positive T-cells that cause weakened immune responses.
“Though the research is still early, BT-061 has the potential to become an important treatment option for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases,” said John Leonard, MD, senior VP, Abbott’s global pharmaceutical research and development. “This novel compound will strengthen Abbott’s immunology pipeline, and we look forward to continuing to build on our expertise in exploring multiple mechanisms and approaches to treat inflammatory diseases.”