GigaGen Announces $1.37M National Cancer Institute (NCI) Grant Award for Discovery and Development of New Oncology Therapies

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Grant supports use of GigaGen’s high-throughput discovery technology to identify anti-cancer monoclonal antibody drug candidates

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Using GigaGen’s novel technology, one technician competes favorably with dozens of technicians who are stuck using conventional technology

GigaGen Inc., a biopharmaceutical company with patented technology for discovery of T cell receptor (TCR) and antibody drugs from immune repertoires, today announced that it has been awarded a $1.37 million Phase II grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through the NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The grant supports discovery and development of oncology drugs from mouse and human B cell repertoires using GigaGen’s novel massively parallel drug discovery technology.

Cancer still accounts for 25% of US deaths despite an enormous investment in novel therapies. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are now the biological agents of choice for cancer therapy. Today, most mAb discovery programs use either phage or yeast display, or mouse immunization followed by hybridoma isolation. Although these technologies have had success, antibody discovery and development is still slow and expensive. R&D programs need faster, deeper, and more efficient antibody discovery technologies to find the next effective cancer treatment.

GigaGen has the only technology that enables massively parallel antibody screening, engineering, and development by capturing millions to billions of antibody-encoding DNA sequences from a sample, and then expressing the DNA sequences as antibodies for affinity screening and antigen discovery. The NCI grant funds efforts to discover therapeutic antibodies produced by the immune systems of cancer survivors who beat their disease. In parallel, the NCI grant funds an improved approach to discovering checkpoint inhibitor antibodies in mouse models.

“We are pleased that the NCI has recognized the enormous potential of our technology to increase the speed and decrease the cost of oncology drug discovery,” said Dave Johnson, Ph.D., CEO of GigaGen. “Using GigaGen’s novel technology, one technician competes favorably with dozens of technicians who are stuck using conventional technology. We are able to understand immune repertoires more deeply than ever before, leading to novel therapies in the exciting, emerging field of immune modulation of cancer.”

About GigaGen
GigaGen is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibody and T cell therapies derived from immune repertoires. GigaGen’s technology platform captures the genetic make-up of the entire human immune repertoire, capturing and genetically analyzing B and T cells at a rate of millions per hour, while simultaneously identifying their antigen and protein binders. Therapies derived from natural immune repertoires mimic the body's natural immune system - they can be more effective, can have fewer side effects, and can have faster development timelines than those developed from traditional methods. GigaGen has drug discovery projects with several pharmaceutical companies in addition to its own pipeline for development of the first recombinant intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and immuno-oncology therapies. For more information visit http://www.gigagen.com.

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Jennifer Keller
GigaGen, Inc.
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