Novel antibodies against a ground-breaking new target for the treatment of Cardiovascular Fibrosis developed by Enleofen Bio, with support from Abzena, featured in ‘Nature’ article - Abzena

Novel antibodies against a ground-breaking new target for the treatment of Cardiovascular Fibrosis developed by Enleofen Bio, with support from Abzena, featured in ‘Nature’ article

Cambridge, UK and Singapore, 14 November 2017

Abzena plc (AIM: ABZA, ‘Abzena’), the life sciences group providing services and technologies to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, works with Enleofen Bio Pte Ltd (‘Enleofen Bio’), to develop first-in-class antibody therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic human diseases.

The Founders of Enleofen Bio discovered that inhibiting Interleukin 11 (IL11) prevents fibrosis through a wide range of pathways, putting it at the very centre of the fibrotic process. This breakthrough research was published today in Nature, leading scientific journal.

Enleofen Bio has developed a wide range of potent IL11 inhibitors and its fully human antibody development program is being advanced with the use of Abzena’s Composite CHO™ cell line technology. Enleofen Bio may in the future opt to progress with large scale manufacturing at Abzena’s San Diego facility.

Abzena will also support Enleofen Bio through the development of alternative strategies to block IL11 signalling. Abzena’s wide range of protein engineering technologies will help to translate findings from successful proof-of-concept studies in preclinical models of disease to the clinic.

Enleofen is currently investing proceeds from a successful Series A fundraising into the development of novel fibrosis treatments. Enleofen has an exclusive licence to a comprehensive suite of patent applications covering IL11’s role in fibrosis and a range of products to treat fibrosis.

Prof Stuart Cook, co-founder of Enleofen Bio, commented:

“IL11 is a truly outstanding drug target for preventing fibrosis. Organ fibrosis causes deaths of millions of people around the world and current treatment options are very limited. We believe anti-IL11 therapies will transform the treatment of patients suffering from fibrosis of the lung, heart, liver, kidneys and other organs”

“We chose to work with Abzena because of its proven expertise in antibody engineering and cell line development.”  

Campbell Bunce, SVP Scientific Operations, said:

“We believe our expertise and integrated offering across biology and biomanufacturing will allow Enleofen Bio seamless development across its portfolio of novel treatments for preventing fibrosis . 

“This agreement represents another example of customers using a range of Abzena’s services to enable their biopharmaceutical development program.”



Abzena PLC

John Burt, CEO

Campbell Bunce, SVP Scientific Operations

Min Park, Global Head of Marketing


+44 1223 903498



Instinctif Partners (Abzena)

Melanie Toyne Sewell / Alex Shaw / Deborah Bell

+44 20 7457 2020

Enleofen Bio Pte Ltd

Stuart Cook, Co-Founder

Notes to Editors

Publication in Nature

This study was published online on 13 November 2017,  in Nature, under the title “IL11 is a crucial determinant of cardiovascular fibrosis” by Sebastian Schafer et al. CLICK HERE for nature article.


Fibrosis is the chronic activation of fibroblasts, the cells that are the structural framework of tissues throughout the body and play a critical role in scarring and wound healing. Fibrotic diseases, typically a result of inflammation or damage, can cause the uncontrolled formation of extracellular matrix and proliferation of fibroblasts and destroy the structure and function of the affected organ.

Cardiac and renal fibrosis eventually lead to heart and kidney failure. It also occurs in many other tissues within the body, like lung, liver, skin or eye and affects hundreds of millions of people. It is estimated that 45% of U.S. deaths are associated with fibrotic disease (Wynn, TA. Nat Rev Immunol. 2004;4:583–594. doi:10.1038/nri1412). With extremely limited treatment options currently, fibrosis has become the major contributor to mortality world-wide.



Enleofen Bio Pte. Ltd. was founded as a spin-out from National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School with Series A funding. Enleofen develops first-in-class antibody therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic human diseases. The initial discovery science and drug target validation was carried out at NHCS and Duke-NUS, funded by Professor Stuart Cook’ STAR award from the NMRC. Over five patent applications and a number of advanced antibody and inhibitor drug candidates arising from the scientific work have been licensed to the company giving it a significant head start in drug development. The company aims to have its lead antibody in clinical trials within a two year time frame with the goal of developing a drug that can be used to treat multiple diseases for which there are currently no treatment options.

For more information on Enleofen visit:


About Abzena PLC

Abzena (AIM: ABZA) provides proprietary technologies and complementary services to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products. The term ‘Abzena Inside’ is used by Abzena to describe products that have been created using its proprietary technologies and are being developed by its partners, and include Composite Human Antibodies™ and ThioBridge™ Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Abzena has the potential to earn future licence fees, milestone payments and/or royalties on ‘Abzena Inside’ products.

Abzena offers the following services and technologies across its principal sites in Cambridge (UK), San Diego, California (USA) and Bristol, Pennsylvania (USA):

  • Immunology research studies, including immunogenicity assessment of candidate biopharmaceutical products;
  • Protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins;
  • Cell line development for the manufacture of recombinant proteins and antibodies;
  • Contract process development and GMP manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins for preclinical and clinical studies;
  • Contract synthetic chemistry and bioconjugation research services, focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs); and
  • Proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies and novel payloads for ADC development; and GMP manufacturer of ADC linkers, payloads & combined linker-payloads.

For more information, please see

Interested in our services? Get In Touch