PHILADELPHIA – Integral Molecular is about to get bigger as it embarks on an expansion that will include a doubling of its employee headcount.
This morning, the Pennsylvania-based company announced it was expanding its facility, personnel, and resources dedicated to antibody discovery for membrane protein targets. The company said the expansion is a reflection of the company’s successful MPS antibody discovery platform and the growth of its internal therapeutic antibody pipeline.
“The expansion of our antibody platform is a testament to the success of our scientific approach and the enthusiasm of our partners who recognize the value of our technology for discovering first-in-class therapeutics for unique targets,” Benjamin Doranz, president and chief executive officer of Integral Molecular, said in a statement.
The company’s expansion will allow it to double the number of employees. The company is also looking to add additional laboratory space at its University City Science Center. The new state-of-the-art laboratory space will house specialized equipment, extending existing capabilities including robotic liquid handing and ultrahigh-throughput microfluidics to support antibody isolation and functional screening, the company said.
The company also noted a number of partnerships that is enabling it to grow. In March, Integral Molecular teamed up with Maryland-based Integrated BioTherapeutics for vaccine discovery. The two companies are banning together to develop a pipeline of antiviral products based on rationally designed and engineered viral proteins and antibodies targeting Ebola and the Zika virus. When the collaboration was announced, the two companies said vaccines for those two diseases “will prevent the recurrence of the deadly 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic that killed over 11,000 people in West Africa, and has the potential to curtail the spread of the ongoing Zika virus epidemic associated with severe fetal brain defects.” On its website, Integral Molecular said it is continuing to look for partners to develop highly differentiated preclinical antibodies in the areas of pain, immunity, metabolic diseases, oncology, and infectious diseases.
Integral Molecular currently has a pipeline of therapeutic antibodies against under-exploited GPCR, ion channel, and transporter targets in therapeutic areas including NASH (CB1 antagonist), immuno-oncology (C5aR antagonist) and pain (P2X3 antagonist).
In June, Integral launched a new therapeutic target program for immuno-oncology. The company is using its Membrane Proteome Array cell-screening technology to identify cell-surface proteins involved in regulating the ability of the human immune system to recognize and destroy cancer. Integral said it has identified entirely novel immuno-oncology protein interactions, as well as validated therapeutic axes such as PD1/PD-L1.