Brain Canada & CQDM fund AbCellera’s cell screening platform technology

AbCellera Biologics Inc and the Univ of British Columbia (UBC) received non-dilutive funding of $1 million from pharma-based consortium CQDM and charitable organization Brain Canada Foundation to advance a discovery platform for next-generation antibody therapeutics. With the additional contribution of $450,000 from AbCellera, the program will leverage AbCellera’s high throughput, single-cell screening platform to allow rapid identification of functional antibodies against complex membrane proteins. The collective financial contributions were made by five CQDM industrial members — GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi. The funding will help AbCellera, which spun off from UBC in 2012, enhance its capabilities for antibody discovery against high-value complex membrane proteins. These proteins have proven intractable by conventional approaches, including hybridoma, phage and yeast display. The project also calls for the application of the technology to the generation of function-modifying antibodies against an undisclosed G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) target.