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25 May 2020

AbCellera and Lilly seal multi-year antibody discovery collaboration

AbCellera, will use its antibody drug discovery platform to identify antibodies against up to nine targets.

AbCellera, a privately held biotech company, has entered into a multi-year strategic research collaboration and license agreement with Eli Lilly on the discovery of antibodies for up to nine Lilly-selected therapeutic targets. Lilly will have the rights to develop and commercialize therapeutic products resulting from the collaboration.

AbCellera and Lilly were in discussions about the multi-target agreement in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. The companies worked quickly to focus the initial scope of the collaboration on creating antibody therapeutics for the possible prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Lilly will select up to eight additional targets during the multi-year agreement.

“Lilly chose to partner with AbCellera because of their novel technology platform, and it has enabled the rapid identification of lead antibody candidates for our COVID-19 efforts. We’re excited to now apply it to other therapeutic targets,” said Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

“By working together seamlessly, our teams have moved with unprecedented speed and have advanced from antibody discovery to a lead candidate for human testing in months instead of years,” said Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera.

AbCellera's drug discovery platform searches and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that can be used to prevent and treat disease. The company's technology, which combines high-throughput microfluidics, big data, machine learning, bioinformatics, and genomics, identifies new first-in-class drugs and reduces the time it takes to bring treatments to clinic.

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