J&J taps AlivaMab for multi-target antibody discovery effort

Janssen's Beerse campus
Janssen's Beerse, Belgium campus (Janssen)

Johnson & Johnson has tasked AlivaMab Discovery Services (ADS) with finding antibody-drug candidates against multiple targets. The project is built on the AlivaMab Mouse platform that is already widely used by in-house R&D teams at large biopharma companies.

Ablexis, which was founded in 2009, has provided drug developers with licenses to use the platform for years, leading it to enter into relationships with more than half of the top 15 pharma companies, including J&J. Last year, Ablexis and Deerfield Management created ADS to enable drug developers to access the fruits of the mouse platform on a service basis.

Now, ADS has named J&J’s Janssen as an early adopter of the service. ADS will use the mouse model to generate antibodies against multiple targets for evaluation by Janssen. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

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The transgenic animals at the center of the project have fully synthetic, autonomously functioning immunoglobulin transgenes. ADS thinks the platform provides it more control over the function of the transgenes and ultimately results in the generation of panels of antibodies that have higher affinities and are more diverse than those derived from other platforms. 

“ADS is delivering potent, picomolar-affinity human antibodies to its partners, in a greater number and a shorter timeline that beats other transgenic animal and in vitro display platforms,” ADS Vice President of Research John “Lippy” Lippincott said in a statement. 

News of the agreement with J&J comes seven months after ADS shared details of its first customer project. That project generated a panel of antibodies within two months. ADS provides the services out of a site in San Diego. 

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