Newswise — LA JOLLA, CA— La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), one of the leading research organizations dedicated to studying the immune system announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with Leinco Technologies, Inc., a premier developer and manufacturer of leading-edge recombinant proteins, antibodies, and conjugates. Leinco also provides custom manufacturing services to the diagnostic and biopharmaceutical industries to leverage proprietary COVID-19 antibodies developed at LJI.
Under the terms of the agreement, Leinco will gain exclusive access to certain SARS-CoV-2 antibodies directed against the virus’ nucleocapsid (N) protein, which forms the virus’ inner shell. In addition to developing the antibodies for use in diagnostic applications based on N protein-specific antibodies, Leinco will make these antibodies commercially available as part of their extensive catalogue of research tools.
Most first generation COVID-19 vaccines are exclusively directed at the spike (S) protein on the virus surface, but the N protein is just as efficient in eliciting a strong antibody response. But most importantly, the N protein appears to be less prone to accumulating mutations than the S protein, for which a number of novel mutations have been reported over the course of the pandemic.
Since currently distributed vaccines only induce antibodies against the S protein, the presence of antibodies against N allows doctors to distinguish between immune responses that resulted from an infection with SARS-CoV-2 versus a S protein-based vaccine.
“Partnering with La Jolla Institute for Immunology is a wonderful opportunity to screen, develop, and scale up manufacturing of SARS-CoV-2 reagents, specifically antibodies targeting the N Protein”, says Wm. Pat Leinert Sr., President and CEO of Leinco Technologies. Further adding, “with La Jolla’s extensive knowledge in infectious diseases and Leinco’s novel protein expression platform, combined, we are capable of bringing high quality reagents and diagnostic tools to the masses and further SARS-CoV-2 research and treatment options.”
These antibodies are the result of a powerful molecular discovery pipeline at LJI developed by structural immunologists Kathryn Hastie, Ph.D., and Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. Saphire is a professor in the Center of Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research and Director of a of an international consortium to evaluate antibody therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent and treat COVID-19 (covic.lji.org).
“The high-resolution view of the interaction surface between virus and immune system, where the rubber meets the road, combined with precision engineering of the molecules involved, allowed us discover and develop these antibodies,” says Dr. Saphire, whose research zooms in on the host-pathogen interface at a molecular level to understand how immune defense can conquer and control viruses.
“Personally, it is satisfying to know that antibodies developed with the unique expertise that my team members bring to the table will provide tools that healthcare professionals, diagnostic labs and other researchers so urgently need to track and treat COVID-19.” Discovery pipelines against other diseases are underway.
About La Jolla Institute for Immunology The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.
About Leinco Technologies, Inc.
With a 30-year history, Leinco Technologies has established itself as a preeminent developer and manufacturer of early discovery research products including antibodies, fluorescent conjugates, recombinant proteins, ELISA kits, second step reagents and other life science products utilizing the highest purity standards within the industry. Leinco’s In vivo GOLDTM , In vivo PLATINUMTM and immunohistochemistry antibody portfolio provides researchers with leading edge reagents, augmenting research and development throughout the world.