Market Overview

Fight Against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gets Major Funding Boost


AbCellera is enabling the translation of laboratory research to
clinical application for fibrosis associated with congenital
degenerative diseases

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most common congenital
diseases in the world, affecting one in 3,500 Canadian males. DMD is
caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene that results in progressive
muscle degeneration and there are currently no effective treatments for

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In an effort to fulfill this unmet medical need, AbCellera Biologics
Inc. has entered into a three-year partnership with Drs. Fabio Rossi and
Michael Underhill of the University
of British Columbia
(UBC) to discover, test, and develop therapeutic
antibodies for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy-associated

"It is immensely satisfying to see many years of investment in the basic
science now being translated towards therapies for patients in need, and
that this work will lead to economic benefits here in BC," commented Dr.
Rossi, a professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and co-director
of the Biomedical Research Centre.

and Genome
are contributing $3 million of the $6.5 million project as
part of the Genomics
Application Partnership Program
(GAPP), which supports
university-industry collaborations to bridge the gap between basic
research and commercialization. The project builds on more than a decade
of genomics-based research, conducted by the Rossi and Underhill teams
that will yield new insights on the interplay of stem cell biology and
the process of healing and fibrosis.

Providing $3.5 million of in-kind funding, AbCellera will apply its
microfluidic single-cell platform to the discovery and engineering of
large panels of antibodies against three novel targets. Lead candidates
from the discovered antibodies will be selected by UBC and then
functionally tested in genetically modified animal models. It is hoped
that an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a first
therapeutic will be made by the end of the project.

"As a spin-off built on research done at UBC's Michael
Smith Laboratories
, we are thrilled that AbCellera's success is
propagating a virtuous circle of innovation," said Dr. Carl Hansen, CEO
of AbCellera. "We are now positioned to engage with UBC's outstanding
researchers and enable the translation of basic science into new
therapies for patients."

A major contributor to DMD progression is fibrosis, the accumulation of
scarring in muscle tissue, which contributes to progressive muscle
stiffness and weakness. Beyond DMD, the same anti-fibrosis therapies
discovered from this project have potential for uses in a variety of
other high-burden indications, including fibrosis of the liver, lungs,
and heart.

"Effective treatments that prevent fibrosis would be life-changing for
people living with DMD by slowing disease progression and improving
quality of life," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Chief Scientific
Officer and Vice President, Sectors, at Genome BC. "We invest in
projects that will make a difference in the lives of British Columbians
and this type of therapy has the potential to make a significant impact."

About AbCellera Biologics Inc.

AbCellera is a privately held company that engages in partnerships to
discover and develop next-generation therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera's
single-cell platform integrates end-to-end capabilities for therapeutic
antibody discovery through a combination of technologies including
proprietary immunizations, microfluidics, high-throughput imaging,
genomics, computation, and laboratory automation. Ultra-deep screening
of single B cells allows unprecedented access to natural immune
responses, enabling rapid isolation of large and diverse panels of
high-quality lead antibodies from any species, including humans.

Find a complete list of news announcements on AbCellera's online news
, on LinkedIn
and on Twitter

About Genome British Columbia

Genome BC invests in genomics innovation to address critical challenges
in key economic sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries and
aquaculture, agrifood, energy, mining and environment. In addition to
scientific programming, Genome BC works to integrate genomics in to
society by supporting responsible research and innovation, and is
committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life
sciences among educators, students and the public.

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