AnaptysBio, Inc., a privately-held therapeutic antibody platform and product company, today announced it has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to use its proprietary somatic hypermutation (SHM) technology platform to generate novel high affinity thermally stable antibodies that could be used by the military in antibody-based biosensors, including those that can detect bioterrorist threats.
“The military often operates under harsh conditions that can shorten the useful life of important safety-related equipment such as antibody-based biosensor instruments capable of detecting trace amounts of toxic substances”
AnaptysBio has the potential to receive up to $1.5 million for work anticipated to be conducted over a two year period under the contract with DARPA, a U.S. Department of Defense agency tasked to prevent and create technological surprise in support of national security.
Biosensors allow for rapid detection of target molecules, providing high levels of sensitivity and specificity. For example, in environmental monitoring, biosensors can sense toxic substances, such as airborne bacteria, pesticides and water contaminants. For military applications, biosensors can be used to detect potential bioterrorist threats. Antibodies, due to their high affinity and exquisite specificity, have become a preferred component for use in a wide variety of biosensors. Although highly versatile, use of conventional antibodies in biosensors has often been limited by stability issues such as sensitivity to heat.
"The military often operates under harsh conditions that can shorten the useful life of important safety-related equipment such as antibody-based biosensor instruments capable of detecting trace amounts of toxic substances," said Tom Smart, chairman and chief executive officer for AnaptysBio. "Using our SHM-Platform™, we have the potential to revolutionize the way antibodies are generated or improved, in this case enabling the generation of thermally stable antibodies for use in biosensors with full retention of functionality. The results also may have applications within the pharmaceutical industry for more flexible and less costly formulation and storage requirements for therapeutic antibodies."