Our proprietary ex vivo platform for the discovery of novel, high-affinity monoclonal antibodies utilizes a chicken B-cell lymphoma cell line. It has successfully generated diverse antibodies that can be readily engineered. This platform offers several advantages over other antibody platforms. The ex vivo immunizations of our proprietary cell line are significantly more rapid than whole animal immunizations and conventional hybridoma technology. By avoiding immunization of mice or other animals, we believe the antibodies we generate from this platform are not limited by immunological tolerance. In addition, our platform is capable of producing novel antibodies against difficult targets, such as highly homologous proteins, enzymes, and receptors with short extracellular domains. Chicken antibodies also have unique features that enable binding capabilities distinct from mammalian antibodies.
Using our platform and other know-how and techniques, we have generated antibodies to several clinically significant targets, including highly potent antibodies against MASP-3 and MASP-1, and our platform continues to add to our pipeline antibodies against additional important targets.
As of February 28, 2017, we owned and/or held worldwide exclusive license rights to five issued patents and four pending patent applications in the U.S., and seven issued patents and 10 pending patent applications in foreign markets, directed to our antibody platform and antibodies generated using our platform.