Friday, November 30, 2018
AbCellera announced today its collaboration with Autolus Therapeutics plc (Autolus), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies. Under the partnership, AbCellera is applying its microfluidic single-cell screening platform to find novel antibodies which can be used for the development of new Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapies.
CARs are engineered targeting molecules comprised of a tumour-specific antibody linked to a T cell activating receptor. T cells engineered to express CARs (CAR-T cells) are capable of mounting specific and highly effective immune responses against tumours; the approach shows great promise, as exemplified by the recent approvals of CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of refractory (or relapsed) B cell leukemia. Because of the high potency of CAR-T cells, their development into successful therapies hinges on the use of highly specific antibody molecules that can target T cells to the tumour while leaving other cells unaffected.
“CAR-T cell therapy is a breakthrough technology in the treatment of cancer. It is already saving the lives of patients and there is tremendous potential to expand its application broadly across blood cancers and solid tumours. We are excited to be partnering with Autolus, a leader in the development of programmed T cell therapies, to help turn this potential into a reality,” commented Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera.
AbCellera’s technology enables deep mining of natural immune responses by combining microfluidic single-cell screening and proprietary repertoire sequencing technology with artificial intelligence. AbCellera’s team uses expertise in animal immunizations for any species (including humanized rodent platforms), assay design, bioinformatic analysis and visualization tools, and antibody characterization for function and developability to customize antibody discovery for every project. This approach has proven powerful at unlocking previously inaccessible targets, including complex membrane proteins, for a wide range of therapeutic modalities.
“We are delighted to work with AbCellera on the identification of new targeting domains for the development of potential new CAR-T cell therapies,” said Dr. Christian Itin, chairman and chief executive officer of Autolus.