AdAlta and Roche sign agreement to evaluate shark antibody technologyPress Release by AdAlta Pty Ltd, Contact: Samantha Cobb, CEO Melbourne, Australia, 9th January 2012
AdAlta Pty Ltd (AdAlta), a Melbourne based biotechnology company specialising in the discovery and
development of protein based therapeutics, signed an agreement today with international pharma company,
Roche to evaluate and identify shark antibody binders.
“We are excited about working with Roche in this area to validate the advantages of the AdAlta shark
antibodies in the diagnostic field,” said Samantha Cobb, CEO of AdAlta.
AdAlta will screen its shark antibody library as part of the collaboration with Roche and provide Roche the
identified shark antibody binders for further evaluation.
AdAlta is pioneering a new technology that uses modified shark antibodies that can be used as
therapeutic interventions or diagnostic markers in disease, offering prospects for new and more effective
approaches to a wide range of human diseases.
The process involves taking genes from sharks and modifying them in a laboratory by inserting random
sequences – essentially mimicking the way the human immune system works – to develop antibodies
capable of a repertoire of defensive responses. These novel libraries can then be screened in the lab
against a target to identify a diagnostic or therapeutic lead candidate.
Sharks possess fully functional antibodies that unlike traditional mammalian antibody molecules consist of
a single variable domain. Shark antibodies show high target specificity and high affinity for their target.
Furthermore, they are extremely stable and may overcome some of the problems encountered with
traditional antibodies when stored and used at high temperatures.
AdAlta Pty Ltd (AdAlta) is an Australian based biotechnology company discovering and developing
protein based therapeutics. AdAlta aims to provide an alternative approach to drug discovery by finding
novel shark antibody or i-bodies for therapeutic or diagnostic application.
Like conventional antibodies, shark antibodies have high target specificity and high affinity for their target.
Shark antibodies however have evolved to be smaller in size and more stable. An i-body is based on a
human protein which has a similar structure to the shark antibody. AdAlta uses this human protein as a
scaffold to build a library of compounds with unique features similar to the shark antibody.
We have found that both the shark antibody and i-body are stable at high temperatures and low pH. Due
to this greater stability, shark antibodies can be manufactured in bacterial systems and because of their
stability they also have the ability to be administered in alternative ways to current therapeutic antibodies.
In addition to the greater stability, the shark antibody and i-body have a long binding loop that human
antibodies and other next generation antibodies do not have. The shark antibody with this long binding
loop can target sites that traditionally antibodies can’t, such as clefts in cell surface receptors or the active
sites of enzymes or targets such as GPCRs.
AdAlta is seeking partnering opportunities with companies who require binders to a specific target. We
are actively pursuing value-creating partnerships with research institutes, biotech and pharmaceutical
companies, with an aim to identify qualified leads for therapeutic, imaging and diagnostics products.
Source: AdAlta Pty Ltd