Reimagining biologics: AbCellera and Novartis partner to find new disease treatments

By John Hamer 02.14.19

The protein structure of an antibody. Source: The University of British Columbia

AbCellera, a DCVC Bio portfolio company searching the immune system for therapeutic antibodies, has teamed up with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Novartis. The companies will work together to find biologic treatments for up to 10 disease targets.

We’re excited AbCellera is working with such an esteemed partner. Novartis has been at the forefront of biologics development for years, with 6 biologics on the market, 22 in clinical trials, and many more in development. Their medicines help hundreds of thousands of people suffering from a wide range of diseases; from psoriasis to leukemia, from asthma to debilitating eye conditions.

With this partnership, Novartis is supercharging their antibody discovery pipeline. AbCellera will be able to help them find antibodies that are the most suitable to make into drugs - faster and for any target. This speed and flexibility means better drugs can reach Novartis’ patients more quickly. In turn, AbCellera is eligible to receive research funding and downstream milestone payments and royalties on the medicines they discover.

We’re glad to see these companies combining forces for the good of patients everywhere. We invested in AbCellera because we believed their AI-driven microfluidic platform would fundamentally improve the antibody discovery process. Partnerships like this one cement that belief. We’re excited to see the new medicines this partnership creates.