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AbCellera, Novartis Partner on Antibody Drug Discovery

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — AbCellera said today that it has partnered with Novartis to discover antibody-based drug candidates from natural immune responses.

Under the terms of the multiyear deal, British Columbia-based AbCellera will apply its antibody discovery platform — which combines a variety of technologies including single-cell screening, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics — to up to 10 targets selected by Novartis.

In exchange, the Swiss drugmaker will provide AbCellera with technology access payments, research funding, downstream milestone payments, and royalties on net product sales. Other terms were not disclosed.

"This partnership with Novartis marks an important evolution of our partnering strategy, expanding from target-based collaborations to deal structures that encourage long-term relationships and provide extended technology access to select partners," AbCellera President and CEO Carl Hansen said in a statement.

AbCellera said that it has formed over 30 antibody discovery alliances, including seven with pharmaceutical and biotech firms. In August, the company and the University of British Columbia received a C$6.5 million (US$4.9 million) grant from Genome Canada and others to develop new antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of fibrosis-associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.