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Synthetic Antibodies to be Designed with Organoids

Lymph node organoid

Printed lymph node organoid (Prellis Biologics Inc.)

22 Mar. 2022. A biotechnology enterprise plans to discover synthetic antibodies with 3-D printed lymph node tissue for future licensing to a pharma company. Financial details of the agreement between Prellis Biologics Inc. in Hayward, California and global pharmaceutical company Sanofi were not disclosed.

Prellis Biologics is a tissue engineering and antibody discovery company that creates three-dimensional cells and tissue samples with a bioprinting technology. One of the company’s main 3-D printed tissue products is functioning lymph node tissue called organoids. Prellis Biologics engineers its lymph node organoids to respond to antigens in much the same way as human lymph nodes, to produce a wide range of synthetic antibodies meeting specific requirements and properties in as little as three weeks. The company says its lymph node organoids are used for therapies, treatment screening, and vaccine testing.

Prellis Biologics calls its lymph node organoid technology an external human immune system, or Exis. “The Exis platform,” says Prellis’s founder and CEO Melanie Matheu in a company statement released through BusinessWire, “provides an unparalleled ability to recreate lymph node organoids in vitro. This powerful technology enables investigation of human B- and T-cell responses for a variety of applications, including antibody discovery and therapeutic immunogenicity.”

Laser holograms to print extracellular matrix

In their agreement, Prellis Biologics and Sanofi will collaborate on producing human antibodies from lymph node organoids addressing a specified, but undisclosed target. Sanofi gains an option to license, develop, and commercialize antibodies generated by the collaboration. In return, Prellis receives an initial payment, but the the payment amount is not disclosed.

Science & Enterprise first reported on Prellis Biologics’ seed funding and incubation in Sept. 2017. The company’s tissue engineering technology is based on Matheu’s work as a graduate student at University of California in Irvine and postdoctoral researcher  at University of California in San Francisco. In her doctoral research, Matheu studied the laser-based imaging processes underlying the company’s technology, including the application of those processes to print fine blood vessels, called microvasculature, permeating human tissue and organs.

Prellis uses laser holograms that put down fine layers of extracellular matrix, secretions from cells that provide structural and biochemical support, already containing cells at near instantaneous speeds. Unlike most current tissue engineering methods, the Prellis process, according to the company, does not require previous cell seeding or additional culturing to produce tissue matrix. As a result, it achieves high printing speeds, which are critical for tissue production since densely packed cells will die in less than 30 minutes unless oxygen and nutrients can be supplied immediately with blood carried through capillaries.

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