The world’s leading AbCellera drug discovery technology identifies antibodies for potential use in drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19
Vancouver, British Columbia – AbCellera announced today that it has received commitments of up to $ 175.6 million in support from the Canadian Government under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SED) for Innovation, Science and Economic Development (SED) to expand efforts related to the discovery of antibodies for use in drugs to treat COVID-19 , and to build manufacturing technology and infrastructure for antibody therapy against future pandemic threats.
The AbCellera antibody discovery platform is being used to search for blood samples of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to assist in the discovery of antibodies that can be used to treat and prevent disease. Since receiving one of the first North American samples from patients who recovered on February 25, AbCellera has identified more than 500 unique human anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies as part of collaboration with the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the US National Institutes of Health. The antibodies discovered by AbCellera can also be used to create new diagnostic tests to support the medical community in monitoring the spread of COVID-19.
“Our government is mobilizing its resources to confront COVID-19, supporting researchers and businesses who are working hard to develop medical treatment to defeat this pandemic. Today’s contribution will support AbCellera Biologics as they use the world’s leading technology to quickly identify COVID-19 solutions while ensuring Canada’s long-term preparedness for future health challenges, “said Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
AbCellera previously announced a partnership with Eli Lilly and Company that seeks to develop treatments for COVID-19 with the aim of starting clinical trials in July 2020. As part of the collaboration, Lilly will independently fund and lead clinical development and testing of therapeutic antibody therapies discovered through this partnership.
“Each of us is affected, and our team stands together, ready to fight this plague,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO of AbCellera. “We are proud to have the support of the Government of Canada to quickly find solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Strategic Innovation Fund is rapidly mobilizing support for Canadian companies that are working on large-scale and then promising research and development projects aimed at providing medical response to COVID-19, including vaccines and essential medical supplies.
In addition to support from the Government of Canada, AbCellera received support from the City of Vancouver. “The City of Vancouver is fully committed to ensuring AbCellera has the infrastructure needed because they accelerate finding care for COVID-19,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart, Vancouver City. “We cannot be more proud to be at the forefront of this global effort thanks to AbCellera’s innovation and leadership.”
Phase 1 of the project will enhance and implement AbCellera’s world-leading antibody discovery platform to fully identify human antibodies for the potential prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and future pandemics. Phase 2 will build a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility in Vancouver, BC. This facility will be the first in Canada to be able to switch from a patient sample to making antibodies for clinical testing, and will help Canadians be prepared to respond to a pandemic in the future.
About the P3 Program
AbCellera has spent the past two years adapting its technology to respond to pandemics quickly through its participation in the Pandemic Prevention Platform Research Project (DARPA) Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3). The aim of the AbCellera four-year P3 project, USD $ 30 million is to build a strong pandemic response platform that can develop field-ready antibody drugs within 60 days after isolating emerging virus pathogens.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a Canadian private biotechnology with a drug discovery platform that searches and analyzes the natural immune system to find antibodies that can be used to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera technology, which combines high-throughput microfluidics, big data, machine learning, bioinformatics and genomics, identifies first-class new drugs and reduces the time needed to bring care to the clinic. AbCellera’s partners include leading biotechnology companies, global health organizations and six of the top 10 biopharmaceutical companies. AbCellera was founded in 2012, and completed the Series A financing round in 2018, led by DCVC Bio. For more information, visit www.abcellera.com.
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