AnaptysBio receives funding for biosensors

Officials with AnaptysBio recently announced it has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to use its proprietary somatic hypermutation technology platform to create antibodies that could be used to detect bioterrorist threats.

AnaptysBio will $1.5 million for work anticipated to be conducted over a two year period under the contract with DARPA, a U.S. Department of Defense agency tasked to prevent and create technological surprise in support of national security, reports.

AnaptysBio CEO Tom Smart told that biosensors allow for rapid detection of target molecules, providing high levels of sensitivity and specificity.

Biosensors can sense toxic substances, including airborne bacteria, pesticides and water contaminants in environmental testing. For military applications, biosensors can be used to detect potential bioterrorist threats.

Smart told that antibodies have become a preferred component for use in a wide variety of biosensors. Although highly versatile, use of conventional antibodies in biosensors has often been limited by stability issues such as sensitivity to heat.

“The military often operates under harsh conditions that can shorten the useful life of important safety-related equipment such as antibody-based biosensor instruments capable of detecting trace amounts of toxic substances,” Smart told “Using our SHM-Platform™, we have the potential to revolutionize the way antibodies are generated or improved, in this case enabling the generation of thermally stable antibodies for use in biosensors with full retention of functionality. The results also may have applications within the pharmaceutical industry for more flexible and less costly formulation and storage requirements for therapeutic antibodies.”

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