University of Maryland Grants License for Novel Antibody Platform to Glycocept

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The novel antibody-engineering platform works differently than most of the currently employed antibody-modifying technologies, according to UM Baltimore.

A new approach to antibody engineering believed to increase the efficacy of therapeutic antibodies-originating from researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)-will be licensed to a small, up-and-coming pharmaceutical company called Glycocept, according to a release from the university. Glycocept’s president and CEO, Ronald P. Dudek, recently served as vice-president of commercial strategy of Juno Therapeutics, a company which has drummed up an impressive amount of industry attention for its advances in chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T or CART) technologies.

Rather than working to increase the binding affinity of an antibody to a cellular receptor that stimulates cancer-cell apoptosis-a mechanism by which many antibodies work-the novel antibody technology licensed to Glycocept alters an antibody’s glycosylation sites so that the antibody is less likely to bind to cellular receptors that inhibit immune response (specifically, the binding ability of an Fc receptor called FcgR2b).

Glycocept will use UMB’s novel platform, dubbed HyGly, to help outside biopharmaceutical companies produce novel biotherapeutics and/or develop more effective versions of existing antibody-based drugs (i.e., biobetters) that are nearing patent expiration. The company will also harness the technology for the production of its own novel biologics in house.