The program will leverage AbCellera’s high-throughput, single-cell screening platform to allow rapid identification of functional antibodies against complex membrane proteins.
MONTREAL, January 17th, 2018 – CQDM and Brain Canada are proud to announce the nondilutive funding of $1 M to AbCellera and the University of British Columbia. AbCellera will also contribute $450,000 to the project, which will expand and apply its state-of-the-art microfluidic antibody discovery platform for discovery of function-modifying antibodies against GPCR targets.
The CQDM support was made possible by the financial contributions of five of its industrial members, including GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi. These contributions underscore their commitment to driving innovation that can expand the accessible target space of antibody-based therapeutics, the fastest growing class of drugs.
“This project is particularly important for CQDM. It highlights our ability to support top biotech companies across Canada, and our focus on game-changing and transformative platform technologies in areas that are key to many pharmaceutical development programs”, said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM.
“Collaboration across sectors and disciplines is central to Brain Canada’s vision, and is key to accelerating the pace of discovery. We are pleased to support this research project aiming to develop novel platforms for next-generation biological therapeutics”, said Inez Jabalpurwala, President and CEO of Brain Canada.
AbCellera, which was spun off from the University of British Columbia in 2012, has established itself as the frontrunner in antibody discovery from natural immune repertoires. AbCellera’s microfluidic single-cell screening platform allows for deep profiling of natural immune responses with an unmatched combination of throughput, speed, and assay capabilities. This funding will allow AbCellera’s to further expand on its leading capabilities for antibody discovery against high value complex membrane proteins that have proven intractable by conventional approaches, including hybridoma, phage and yeast display. The continued collaboration between AbCellera and the University of British Columbia is a model example of how public-private partnerships can efficiently translate cutting-edge research into practical applications to accelerate the discovery and development of new therapies for patients.
“AbCellera is now the recognized leader for antibody discovery against difficult membrane protein targets. To date we have run successful discovery programs on six GPCR or ion channel targets. Our technology has vastly outperformed what is possible by classic hybridoma and display methods, has succeeded in generating hundreds of unique antibodies per target, and has provided leads to advance partner programs that were otherwise stalled.”, commented Carl Hansen, Director and CEO of AbCellera. “With this collaboration, we will further expand our technology to enable direct cell-based assays capable of selecting ultra-rare antibodies with function-modifying properties. When combined with the throughput and speed of our platform, this will create game-changing capabilities for targeting complex membrane proteins.”
As part of the project, the developed technology will be applied to the generation of function modifying antibodies against an undisclosed GPCR target.
The Canada Brain Research Fund is a partnership between the Government of Canada and Brain Canada, designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. Brain Canada and its partners have committed to raising $120M, which is being matched by Health Canada on a 1:1 basis for a total of up to $240M. For more information: www.braincanada.ca.
– 30 –