LJI acquires Carterra LSA instrument to enhance antibody screening and characterization efforts

Carterra, Inc., the world leader in innovative technologies enabling high-throughput biology, and La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), a globally recognized non-profit research organization dedicated to understanding the power of the immune system to promote human health, announced today that LJI has acquired a Carterra LSA instrument to enhance its antibody screening and characterization work.

In 2020, while leading the pandemic response, LJI's Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium (CoVIC) partnered with Carterra to screen and characterize hundreds of antibodies from all over the world, bringing academic, non-profit, and commercial laboratories together to discover the best antibody therapeutics against COVID-19. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, CoVIC's goal is to find the most potent antibodies against COVID-19 and its variants, the results of which could guide the development of vaccines and therapeutics for today but that also protect against future pandemics. It was through this collaboration that LJI discovered the power and magnitude of the LSA's capabilities. This body of work was published in Science in September 2021: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abh2315

The LSA was key to mapping the epitope landscape of the SARS-CoV2 spike, using the 400 antibodies in the consortium. That information was instrumental to understanding which target sites are still effective against emerging variants of concern. Having seen what the LSA can do first-hand, through our collaboration with Carterra as part of the CoVIC, we now look forward to using this instrument to propel our own discovery efforts."

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Professor at La Jolla Institute for Immunology and Director of the CoVIC consortium

The LSA will support La Jolla Institute's discovery efforts of broadly reactive antibodies against a number of pathogens, enabling rapid characterization of hundreds of antibodies in the early stages, followed by in-depth analysis of leads during later stages of discovery. The LSA will also enable the rapid characterization of sera samples from vaccine studies, in addition to autoimmune and cancer targets.

Carterra launched the LSA antibody discovery and characterization platform in 2018 and has quickly made it the standard in 17 of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, CROs, and government labs such as the FDA and the NIAID of the NIH. The speed at which antibodies can now be identified and characterized as potential drugs by Carterra's LSA has improved on traditional methods by generating results 100 times faster while using 99% less sample. Sensitivity for finding the rarest of antibodies in a complex matrix is also now best-in-class.

"We're proud to see the benefit of Carterra's LSA platform being brought to bear for global good," says Tim Germann, Chief Commercial Officer at Carterra. "Working with Erica and her team at LJI has been truly enlightening-;they understand the importance of breaking down the old paradigm of slow and inefficient biologics discovery. Bringing the LSA to LJI represents their commitment to leading the effort to end the suffering from pandemics like Ebola and COVID-19."

Other highlights from Carterra's success with the LSA platform include the following:

  • In December of 2020, Carterra closed an equity round of financing from industry giant, PerkinElmer who is also now the exclusive distributor of the LSA platform in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions.

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