Vancouver-based biotech firm AbCellera Biologics Inc. has captured global attention as a leader in the fight against COVID-19.
Specializing in industry-leading antibody discovery, AbCellera holds distinction as the first company in North America to receive blood samples from a patient who recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Within days of using AbCellera’s technology to analyze samples, the team had identified 500 antibodies that could feasibly support treatments for the respiratory illness that has caused a global pandemic. Now, AbCellera are partnering with Eli Lilly, a biopharmaceutical corporation based in the US, to rapidly develop treatment using the most promising antibodies collected.
On March 23, AbCellera was named among several companies that will share $192 million granted by the federal government to support research and development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Though antibody development can take years to reach clinical trials, the results of AbCellera and Eli Lilly’s work will be fast-tracked with the goal of beginning to test treatments in patients within the next four months.
Over the past two years, AbCellera developed its advanced pandemic response platform through the company’s participation in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pandemic Prevention Program. In partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center and Ichor Medical Systems, AbCellera created their biotech platform to establish a strong foundation of global stability through novel methods of accelerating discovery, testing and manufacturing of medical countermeasures against infectious diseases.
This year, AbCellera earned a spot on Fast Company’s list of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for its innovative drug discovery platform.
For more information on COVID-19, including ongoing monitoring of the economic impact in Vancouver and business resources, visit our dedicated webpage.