Antibodies derived from survivors hold promise for the creation of therapeutic agents and vaccines
Findings presented at the annual Grand Challenges Meeting co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — October 26, 2016 — Atreca, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics based on a deep understanding of the human immune response, presented today results of a research collaboration with Dr. Rafi Ahmed and his colleagues at Emory University generating antibodies with activity against the Ebola virus. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for the Atreca antibody research, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) provided funding for the studies led by Emory. The research program was conducted by a consortium of nine institutions led by the Emory Vaccine Center. Using blood samples from Ebola survivors, the project has resulted in the identification of antibodies that strongly neutralize the Ebola virus and protect mice from a viral challenge.
In the collaboration with Emory, Atreca applied its Immune Repertoire Capture® (IRC™) technology, which is able to identify functional, expression-ready antibodies driving positive outcomes in patients. Atreca identified and generated the strongly neutralizing antibodies by applying its IRC™ technology to the de-identified blood samples of three Ebola survivors provided by Emory. The research findings from the collaboration program with Emory are being presented today by Guy Cavet, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Atreca, and Emory researcher Carl W. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., at the annual Grand Challenges Meeting sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and taking place in London, UK, October 23-26, 2016.
“The collaboration has achieved a key objective for us in broadening our understanding of the Ebola virus, as well as related viruses such as Marburg virus,” stated Dr. Ahmed, who is Director of the Emory Vaccine Center. “Through Atreca’s pioneering technology, we have learned a great deal about how the human immune system can develop effective antibodies against the Ebola virus and which parts of the virus may be most vulnerable to the immune response. The identification of neutralizing antibodies that can protect against a viral challenge from so few patients so quickly is also a very exciting outcome, offering the potential to create both therapeutic agents and vaccines against a rapidly evolving Ebola virus.”
“We are honored to present our research together with Emory at this year’s Grand Challenges Meeting,” said Tito A. Serafini, Ph.D., Atreca’s President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder. “This venue showcases cutting-edge technologies that hold promise in addressing pressing needs in global health. We look forward to the continued progress of our collaborations furthering global health objectives, which have been productive in areas including malaria, Ebola, and Zika, as well as further advancing Atreca’s own pipeline of programs focused on immuno-oncology.”
About the 2016 Grand Challenges Meeting
The annual Grand Challenges meeting aims to build momentum for global health and development innovation and foster scientific collaboration among international groups and researchers. This year’s meeting is being co-hosted by the European Commission, Grand Challenges Canada, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Wellcome Trust, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with others. The meeting consists of scientific tracks, with sessions running in parallel, and a series of complementary plenary sessions and strategic side meetings.
One year after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2016 Annual Meeting is an opportunity to highlight the critical role of innovation in enabling and accelerating the achievement of the SDG targets and the value of the Grand Challenges model to this broader global health and development agenda. It is also an opportunity to build on conversations from 2015, particularly on how global Grand Challenges partners can continue to build a sustainable innovation ecosystem that helps countries achieve the SDGs.
About Emory University
Emory University, located in Atlanta, GA, encompasses outstanding undergraduate institutions, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. Emory includes nine academic divisions as well as The Carter Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s most comprehensive health care system. Emory University has affiliations with Grady Memorial Hospital (urban Community Hospital) and close proximity and collaborations with the adjacent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
About Atreca, Inc.
Atreca is a privately held biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics drawn from human immune responses, including effective anti-cancer immune responses. Atreca is able to measure and analyze the structure of clinically relevant immune responses to identify the antibodies, T-cell receptors, and targets that are key to successful treatment outcomes. Atreca’s proprietary Immune Repertoire Capture™ technology profiles a patient’s immune response at the single-cell level at very high throughput without bias or error, enabling the identification and generation of functional human antibodies and TCRs without prior knowledge of antigen. The Company is advancing a pipeline of candidates with the objective of enhancing engagement of the human immune response in cancer treatment and other indications, thus optimizing therapeutic outcomes. For more information on Atreca, please visit www.atreca.com.
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