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

researcher researching

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 Philadelphia and its suburbs. Main Line Health's commitment — to deliver safe, high-quality, equitable and affordable care for treating and curing disease, playing an important role in prevention and disease management, as well as training physicians and other health care providers — reflects our intent to be the region's premier choice for clinical care, research, and education. A team of more than 13,000 employees and over 3,500 employed and independent physicians and advanced practice providers care for patients throughout Main Line Health.

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 premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab 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 the prestigious American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize, highest tier ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Overall Hospital Quality and systemwide recognition in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect, equity and inclusion, has proudly received awards in this area and has 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 patients stay healthy and live their best lives.

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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. Using its ACAPRENEURIALTM model that integrates academic and entrepreneurial approaches, faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new strategies to address formidable medical challenges including cancer, cardiovascular disease, tissue regeneration, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR's principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and clinical 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.