AbCellera acquires TetraGenetics, announces multi-year partnership with Moderna


Vancouver-based AbCellera announced its acquisition of TetraGenetics, a biotech company based in Massachusetts, on Monday.

AbCellera’s technology analyzes immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease.

“Together, these technologies have the potential to unlock the discovery of antibodies against these validated and sought-after drug targets.”

TetraGenetics has developed a protein expression platform that addresses the difficulties of producing “high-value transmembrane proteins.” According to the company, the platform is able to generate highly pure, complex transmembrane proteins in large quantities that can support antibody discovery programs.

“Integrating TetraGenetics’ capabilities into AbCellera’s technology stack provides an optimized protein source for AbCellera’s antibody discovery,” said AbCellera in its announcement.

“Together, these technologies have the potential to unlock the discovery of antibodies against these validated and sought-after drug targets.”

On Wednesday, AbCellera announced its partnership with Moderna for a multi-year, multi-target research collaboration. Moderna will be leveraging AbCellera’s technology to analyze natural immune responses and identify therapeutic antibodies selected by Moderna.

The companies’ agreement will give Moderna the rights to develop and commercialize antibodies resulting from the collaboration. The announcement disclosed that “AbCellera will receive research payments and is eligible to receive from Moderna downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products.”

Some of AbCellera’s disclosed partnerships include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Pfizer, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In June this year, AbCellera secured a site in Vancouver for the construction of a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) manufacturing facilitydedicated to the production of therapeutic antibodies—the first of its kind in Canada.

After its completion, the company hopes the 130,000-square-foot facility will expand its capabilities in responding to future pandemics. The facility will house laboratory, office, GMP protein biologic manufacturing and warehouse space.

The GMP will be within walking distance of AbCellera’s new 380,000-square-foot global headquarters in Vancouver and scheduled to finish construction and ready for GMP manufacturing in early 2024.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper.