News & Updates

Back to All News
Get Care

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research out-licenses antibody display platform technology to OCMS Bio

Lankenau Medical Center January 9, 2020 Research News

The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), the research division of Main Line Health, signed a licensing agreement with OCMS Bio, LLC, a biotech startup that will commercialize a novel technology for producing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)invented by Scott Dessain, MD, PhD, a professor at LIMR.

Antibody-based therapies tailored to specific disease molecules are the chief biologics used as injectable medicines in health care today. But the creation of these new medicines starts with cloning an antibody from the immune cell factories that synthesize them. At present, the cloning process is painstaking, costly in time and resources, and fraught with failure in obtaining antibodies with the vital characteristics of a true medicine.

Dr. Dessain’s new technology platform, called On-Cell mAb Screening (OCMS™), improves the standard technology in several ways. Most importantly it enables rapid identification and isolation of B cells that secrete antibodies with desired characteristics that can be challenging or impossible to obtain by existing methods.

In preclinical studies, Dr. Dessain and his lab team showed how the OCMS™ platform could rapidly characterize poliovirus-neutralizing mAbs from patients, and isolate mAbs that can diagnose a potentially fatal autoimmune brain inflammation.

“We are excited to make Dr. Dessain’s breakthroughs available to the biotechnology community,” said Martina Molsbergen, chief commercial officer of OCMS Bio, based in Wynnewood, Pa. “His innovation will produce an unprecedented array of diagnostic and therapeutic mAbs, which will advance patient care exponentially.”

The technology platform captures and displays antibodies secreted by hybridoma cells, which are hybrid cells often employed by biotech developers for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Further, the OCMS™technology enables fluorescent on-cell screening, making the sought-after mAbs easily identifiable. Once identified, the mAbs then can be analyzed for expression level, binding activity and other characteristics.

“Dr. Dessain’s novel technology enables a new suite of useful methods to obtain antibodies that are otherwise difficult or impossible to clone from patients,” said George Prendergast, PhD, president and CEO of LIMR. “It is a remarkable achievement, and we’re thrilled to have reached this licensing agreement with OCMS Bio, demonstrating once again LIMR’s continuing commitment to improve human health through research and entrepreneurship.”

Dr. Dessain is director of the Center for Human Antibody Technology at LIMR and holds the Joseph and Ray Gordon Chair in Clinical Oncology and Research.

In addition to conducting biomedical research, LIMR’s resident faculty develop new biopharmaceutical and medical device technologies, particularly in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders and regenerative medicine.

The licensing deal was shepherded to a close by L2C Partners, a Wynnewood,Pa.-based company specializing in technology transfer and commercialization services that is partnered with LIMR to help manage and develop its intellectual property portfolio.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985,Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare,one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.

About OCMS Bio, LLC

OCMS Bio, LLC, is a startup biotech company that will commercialize the OCMS™ technology for the discovery and production of human and other mammalian mAbs.

About L2C Partners

L2C Partners offers institutions and research organizations expert outsourced technology transfer and commercialization services. Committed to innovators and to moving inventions from the lab (or the studio) to society, L2C helps its clients optimize the opportunity posed by an existing gap in the life sciences/technology/manufacturing ecosystem. L2C Partners currently supports health system, research institution, colleges and university clients across the eastern United States. The company, powered by veteran business and tech transfer executives, is headquartered in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.