AbCellera has received a big financial boost from the Canadian government in its fight against COVID-19.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Vancouver-based biotech firm will share $192 million under the federal government’s new Strategic Innovation Fund’s COVID-19 stream.
“Canada is home to some of the most skilled and brightest researchers in the world, who are working hard to develop countermeasures that will protect the health and safety of Canadians and support international efforts to fight this pandemic,” Trudeau said in a statement. “We are all in this together, and need to be doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus.”
AbCellera is at the forefront of developing antibody-based drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19 and was named to Fast Company’s List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies earlier this month.
AbCellera’s technology is being used to search blood samples of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to find naturally-produced antibodies that can be used for treatment and prevention.
AbCellera was the first company in North America to receive a sample from a convalescent patient, and within days identified over 500 human antibodies that are candidates for development as a treatment.
Last week the company announced a partnership with global biopharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to rapidly manufacture and distribute a treatment with the goal of beginning clinical trials in July 2020.