New EMBL spinoff company Velabs Therapeutics strives to speed up the discovery of new and better therapeutic antibodies
Microfluidics technology developed at EMBL enables the rapid screening of antibodies, which can help in the development of new therapies. Through its technology transfer arm, EMBLEM, and with the support of private investors, EMBL has launched spinoff company Velabs Therapeutics to make a new microfluidics platform available to the global antibody research community.
Microfluidics is the application of the properties that fluids display at very small scales that allows biologists to rapidly sample and analyse small groups of molecules.
“We have been using microfluidics at EMBL for years, and seen its potential in different fields,” says Christoph Merten, group leader at EMBL Heidelberg and developer of the platform. “Especially in the field of antibody screening the advantages of our platform over existing technologies stood out.”
Velabs is pioneering microfluidics-based technologies for the functional screening of antibodies. Its high-throughput screening platform allows for testing millions of correctly paired fully natural antibodies from humans and mice for therapeutic effects. Results are obtained in only a fraction of the time required by other technologies, therefore promising to significantly shorten the pre-clinical development cycle.
“We have built a solid patent portfolio around the microfluidic technology at EMBL over the years and the novel platform has been validated in several industry collaborations. Velabs Therapeutics now has a strong basis to expand the technology and make it broadly available in the market”, says Gábor Lamm, Managing Director of EMBLEM.
Velabs offers customized screening services for users worldwide. Besides carrying out service projects, the company also works on establishing a proprietary pipeline of therapeutic antibody candidates and further development of the technology platform.