Velabs Therapeutics, specializing in the fast generation of functional therapeutic antibodies, recently announced that its cooperation with Chiome Bioscience, Inc., Tokyo, will be deepened, to jointly discover modulatory and functional antibodies for one of Chiome’s GPCR target genes. The collaboration will capitalize on Velabs’ microfluidics-based technology in the field of functional antibody screening. Under the terms of the agreement and after successful completion of an initial feasibility phase, Velabs will receive milestone payments upon the achievement of specific development and regulatory events. In addition, Velabs will also be eligible to receive tiered royalties and milestones on the worldwide sales of products that arise from the collaboration.
Chiome Bioscience is a leading expert in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies for clinical applications with unmet medical need. The company has the exclusive license of the ADLib antibody generation technology from RIKEN and has several preclinical and clinical development programs for its therapeutic antibodies.
Velabs Therapeutics, a recent startup company of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and financed by Swiss based Xlife Sciences Ltd., is a pioneer in microfluidic technology for screening of antibodies with modulatory function on complex signal proteins like GPCRs or ion channels. The high-throughput screening platform allows for testing millions of correctly paired fully natural IgGs from humans and mice for therapeutic effects, rather than just for binding. Results are obtained in only a fraction of the time required by other technologies. The company offers customized screening services for users worldwide. Besides carrying out service projects, Velabs is currently also establishing its own proprietary pipeline of therapeutic antibody candidates for further joint development with pharma partners.
“We are delighted about the successful termination of the initial feasibility phase and the current start of a joint development on functional GPCR antibodies”, says Christoph Antz, Managing Director of Velabs. “Chiome’s decision to continue this project after a successful feasibility study represents an important validation of our technology for the screening and generation of functional antibodies on complex signal proteins like GPCRs”, adds Christoph Merten, scientific founder and CSO of Velabs.
“We opted for Velabs’ microfluidic screening technology in order to optimize time and productivity of discovering therapeutic antibodies against GPCRs. We look forward to obtaining promising hits, which can ultimately give rise to preclinical candidates through this collaboration”, says Yukoh Nakazaki, Head of Antibody Research Laboratories of Chiome Bioscience.