The time between the coronavirus outbreak capturing our attention and AbCellera working on a solution was impressively short.
AbCellera, a biotechnology startup based in Vancouver, discovers and develops next-generation therapeutic antibodies through partnerships with organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Together with the latter, the Canadian company is tackling trouble in Wuhan, China.
AbCellera confirmed late last month that it was mobilizing its pandemic response platform against the ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus. The platform has been in development since 2018, according to the company, and is capable of developing field-ready medical countermeasures within 60 days of isolation of an unknown viral pathogen.
The project is based on a partnership with DARPA and is known as the Pandemic Prevention Platform, or P3 for short.
Back then, AbCellera CEO Carl Hansen stated it was “clear that we are not equipped to deal with viral pandemics.” The coronavirus seems determined to prove Hansen correct. AbCellera is hustling for a different outcome.
“The unprecedented throughput and speed of AbCellera’s screening technology makes it particularly well-suited to pandemic situations like the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, where deploying a therapeutic quickly is an important factor to help control transmission,” explains Dr. Ester Falconer, Head of R&D at AbCellera. “Since starting the P3 project, we have been preparing for exactly this scenario, and we are ready to tackle this threat.”
To save the world from global threats like a virus outbreak, AbCellera needs an even stronger workforce.
The company is currently offering roles for technicians, scientists, coordinators, and more. They’re hiring for these positions and others at the Tech Talent Vancouver Job Fair, which takes place on February 20th at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Tickets start at $20 and includes a free drink and delicious appetizer.