AbCellera’s Acquisition of OrthoMab Bispecific Platform Propels Antibody Development

August 28, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

In the Lab eNewsletter, Pharmaceutical Technology's In the Lab eNewsletter 09-02-2020, Volume 15, Issue 9

AbCellera’s recent acquisition of the OrthoMab bispecific platform is expected to accelerate antibody product development.

AbCellera has acquired the OrthoMab bispecific platform from Dualogics, a US-based biotechnology company specializing in protein engineering for improving antibody therapeutics. The technology is a clinically validated platform that uses advanced computational and experimental protein engineering methods to create immunoglobulin G (IgG)-like bispecific antibodies from any two antibody sequences, AbCellera announced in an Aug. 20, 2020 press release.

AbCellera will integrate OrthoMab into its existing technology stack, which will proved[LL1] the industry with a rapid and complete solution for generating tailored, stable, and developable bispecific antibodies.

Under the agreement, AbCellera gets full rights to the OrthoMab platform while Dualogics retains rights to develop existing internal assets. Dualogics will also retain rights to complete existing partnership programs. Tim Jacobs, PhD, former chief technology officer of Dualogics, who led multiple bispecific antibody programs while at that company, joined AbCellera’s team in early August 2020 as senior research scientist. Jacobs brings 10 years of protein engineering experience. He has pioneered computational and experimental strategies for designing, modifying, and enhancing protein-based therapies.

“Bispecifics have opened new vistas for antibody therapeutics and are the fastest growing format in clinical development. Despite this early success, the technological barriers for successful development of bispecifics, including challenges in discovery, pair selection, protein engineering, and manufacturing, are keeping many firms out,” said Carl Hansen, PhD, CEO of AbCellera, in the company press release. “By welcoming Tim to our team and OrthoMab into our stack, we have consolidated the talent and technologies needed to address these challenges. Through our partnerships, we’ll democratize access to leading bispecific technology across the industry, connecting science with technology to bring new therapies to the clinic.”

The addition of OrthoMab to AbCellera’s antibody discovery technology unifies its bispecific platform. The company can therefore optimize every step of the drug discovery process, including:

  • Sourcing diverse antibodies from any animal. Sources can also include fully human monoclonal antibodies from humanized mice.
  • Searching, decoding, and analyzing antibodies. Optimizing these activities will help to identify the best combinations for achieving desired functions.
  • Engineering IgG-like bispecific antibodies. The goal here is to tailor these bispecific antibodies to achieve maximum therapeutic effect while retaining optimal stability and developability profiles.
  • Assessing immunogenicity with in-silico screening tools.

“AbCellera's deep technical expertise and industry-leading discovery pipeline uniquely positions it to make the most of the OrthoMab platform,” added Jacobs in the press release. “I am extremely excited to be joining the AbCellera team and look forward to bringing best-in-class bispecific and protein-engineering capabilities to our partners.”

Source: AbCellera