NIAID Wins FLC Excellence in Technology Transfer Award

FLC Awards 2022

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) won a 2022 FLC award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, as well as received the COVID-19 Response Distinction, for their antibody-focused collaboration with AbCellera.

This collaboration was established in 2018 through a Research Collaboration Agreement by NIAID’s Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office. This collaboration with AbCellera was originally focused on influenza but changed course when the COVID-19 pandemic started. It became a major player in the development of antibody-based COVID-19 therapies.

NIAID scientists engineered a version of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as “bait” to search for antibody-producing cells that target this viral protein. AbCellera then used its proprietary high-throughput, machine-based process to find the most potent antibodies among millions of antibody-producing cells from a patient who had recovered from a COVID-19 infection. The IP covering these antibodies was exclusively licensed to AbCellera, who partnered with Eli Lilly to develop a therapeutic antibody to SARS-CoV-2.

Through this collaboration, a therapy named bamlanivimab was developed. It has been authorized to treat mild to moderate COIVD-19 symptoms in high-risk patents when combined with another antibody. The FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization for bamlanivimab in February 2021.

If you are interested in browsing other NIAID technologies available for licensing or collaboration, you can do so here.