Discover + Develop

CCAB commercializes antibodies and biologics as therapeutics, diagnostics, and research reagents. With exclusive access to the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC), the single largest antibody discovery and generation centre in Canada, the CCAB provides a centralized access point to a continually expanding portfolio of antibodies targeting hundreds of different cell surface antigens, as well as engineered synthetic variants built on various protein scaffolds.

This access provides industry and academic partners unique opportunities to reduce the time, risks, and costs associated with developing solutions to health problems that exist within Canada and internationally.

Our Discovery Process

The combined expertise of Dr. Jason Moffat in functional genomics and Dr. Sachdev Sidhu in antibody and protein engineering enable the CCAB/ TRAC partnership unique advantages in the discovery and development of antibodies to virtually any cell surface protein, and protein variants of small cellular proteins with enhanced binding properties and potential modulatory activity for a protein of interest. TRAC’s functional genomics platform allows for prioritization of disease-relevant targets, and its highly optimized pipeline ensures rapid, cost-efficient and comprehensive synthetic protein generation and validation.

Our Selection Process

Phage-displayed synthetic protein libraries (e.g. antibody fragment (Fab) libraries, ubiquitin variant libraries) are screened against a purified target and binders are isolated from the phage pool after several rounds of binding/amplification.

Libraries can also be screened against cells expressing the target of interest, bypassing the need for target purification, using a proprietary method (CellectSeq) developed by Drs. Sidhu and Moffat. The latter technique is especially important when targets are cell membrane-associated proteins that, when purified, may lose their natural structure (and therefore, the synthetic proteins identified as binding a purified protein may not recognize the protein in its normal environment). A large proportion of potential drug targets are membrane-associated proteins. CellectSeq screening is coupled with deep sequencing technology to identify synthetic proteins that selectively bind the target of interest.

Our Development Process

Antibodies and other synthetic proteins discovered through the TRAC pipeline undergo in vitro studies to determine binding affinity, target specificity and biological activity. Depending on the outcomes of the in vitro characterization, lead antibodies & synthetic proteins can be further optimized (whether developed by TRAC or a partner) for desired properties (such as better affinity) prior to in vivo pharmacological studies.

Antibodies & synthetic protein variants with strong affinity and good specificity against their intended targets, but that do not meet the requirements to be considered as therapeutic candidates, are evaluated for their potential as reagents for research and diagnostic purposes.

 

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