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January Special Edition 2022

AbCellera – Leveraging Full-Stack AI-Powered Antibody Discovery Platform


Medical technologies enable the early and accurate diagnosis of health problems, facilitating timely intervention and improving outcomes. Innovative products can replace, repair and sustain failing body functions, while telemedicine and connected devices allow remote monitoring of patient’s conditions. By accelerating recovery and keeping people healthy, modern medical technologies support people in living full and active lives. By helping citizens to stay socially and economically active, and by preventing serious complications of chronic disease, medical technologies can add value to healthcare systems and to society. Medical technology innovations help to deliver efficiency and enhance the sustainability of healthcare.

AbCellera is one such technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. Its full-stack, AI-powered drug discovery platform integrates modern technologies from engineering, microfluidics, single-cell analysis, high-throughput genomics, machine learning, and hyper-scale data science. They partner with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce costs, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.

Best-in-Class AI-Powered Antibody Discovery Solutions Offered

Humanized Platforms: Access a complete functional human antibody repertoire through its Trianni humanized mouse platform, which was generated with proprietary in silico design of antibody genes that resulted in a novel antibody gene structure at the heavy, lambda and kappa mouse antibody loci to maximize antibody diversity. Antibodies from alternate species offer unique opportunities for therapeutic development. It provides access to natural immune responses to obtain unprecedented diversity and enable the discovery of therapeutics from any species.

Immunizations: The company offers strategic immunizations to drive the immune response. They work with all target classes, including the most difficult ones. Using creative techniques they drive targeted immune responses towards functional antibodies. They can comb through millions of enriched antibody-secreting cells in a campaign. With a suite of proprietary microfluidic single-cell assays, the will find the rare antibodies with the properties you want. They combine proprietary repertoire sequencing technologies with functional data from single B cells to annotate immune repertoires and boost the number of candidates.

Cell Therapies: Cell therapies such as CAR-Ts or CAR-NKs harness and direct the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. These engineered cells have chimeric antigen receptors containing antibody-derived recognition domains, giving them antibody-like specificity to target cancer cells. AbCellera works with you to deliver antibody panels in a customized format that lets you test sequences for cell engagement as early as possible, in your platform of choice. Their technology can generate panels of antibodies from various species and transgenic platforms. Whether you’re building your therapeutic molecule from conventional, common light-chain, heavy-chain-only, or single-domain antibodies, they will customize how they deliver your panel of antibodies so that you can test them in your favorite bispecific format as early as possible.

Single Chain Antibodies: AbCellera can screen directly from camelids that naturally produce heavy-chain-only antibodies (HCAbs). Compared to their full-length counterparts, single-chain antibodies can present advantages in tissue penetration, access to challenging epitopes, reduced immunogenicity, and lowered production costs. These single-chain antibodies can be developed as individual domains or re-engineered as bispecifics, multispecifics, or multifunctionals. This flexibility lets you experiment with antibody modalities to take on therapeutic challenges from new angles.

The Visionary Leader Upfront

Carl Hansen is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of AbCellera. Until August 2019, he was a Professor at the University of British Columbia, where he co-authored over 65 manuscripts in the fields of microfluidics, immunology, genomics, and nanotechnology. He is an inventor of over 50 US patents and 63 US patent applications that are represented in seven commercial products. He received the Michael Smith Career investigator award and was recently named one of the “Top 5 Canadian CEOs who elevate their companies.” Carl received his PhD in Applied Physics/Biotechnology from Caltech, and a BASc in Engineering Physics and Honors Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. Before leading AbCellera, he was a scientific Co-Founder of Precision Nanosystems, a Vancouver-based company developing next-generation delivery technology for genetic medicines, and served on the SAB of Fluidigm Corp.

“We search, decode, and analyze natural immune systems to find antibodies that our partners can develop into drugs that improve health.”