Abterra Bio uses machine learning to mine the human immune system to discover novel antibody therapeutics. Patients mount lasting antibody responses to infectious diseases and cancer. Our platform uses next-generation sequencing and mass spectrometry data to comprehensively map this antibody response, rapidly identifying better therapeutic antibodies. We’ve built an interdisciplinary team of data scientists and biologists to re-imagine how antibody therapeutics are developed.
(formerly Digital Proteomics)
Abterra Bio in the News
Meet Abterra Bio
Abterra Bio is discovering human antibody therapeutics directly from patients. By using machine learning to mine the human immune system, we discover novel antibody therapeutics. Patients mount lasting antibody responses to infectious diseases and cancer. Our platform uses genomics and proteomics data to comprehensively map this antibody response, rapidly identifying better therapeutic antibodies. We've built an interdisciplinary team of data scientists and biologists to re-imagine how antibody therapeutics are developed.
Why is your company the best option to solve the problem you're solving?
The adaptive immune system is a natural drug development engine, creating antibodies to diseases never before encountered and storing the memory of past exposure. Our technology allows us identify the antibodies present in patients that can be developed into therapeutics. By integrating multi-omic data with machine learning , we are able to mine the immune response more comprehensively than ever.
What nuggets of info make you interesting? Why do people care about what you're doing?
We are working to find treatments to diseases affecting many San Diegans, including the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. We are applying our technology to discover antibody drugs from recovered COVID-19 patients in order to treat this pandemic.
What else do you want us to know?
In addition to mining the antibodies present in humans, we also look at the unique single chain antibodies produced by llamas and alpacas. Last summer we had a company field trip to a llama farm, and discovered that llamas do in fact spit and baby alpacas are adorable. We're thinking of adopting an alpaca as our mascot.
BEHIND THE COMPANY
CEO/Founder: Natalie Castellana
What one book, podcast, newsletter, etc. do you recommend to other entrepreneurs? Why?
Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet. It puts so much emphasis on up front planning, and provides quite detailed practical guidance for starting a company. As a person who likes to just build, it's really good to reread every now and then to drill into my head to think and then build.
What is your company's secret sauce?
Our technology is unique because it combines both genomic and proteomic measurements of the antibody response. Our advantage stems from our experience in both domains, and our strong computational core that allows us to integrate the multiple sources of information to identify the most promising antibodies. Core components of the platform are patented and licensed from UCSD.
What's the best entrepreneurial advice you've received?
One lesson that has been painfully learned is that a platform that resonates well in academia does not necessarily have a market in industry.
What sets your company culture apart?
We make a significant effort to have transparency both in terms of technical and research goals, but also in terms of the financial state of the company. People are empowered to make better decisions when they understand why they are doing something, and possible constraints on a project.
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