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Press Release

Crystal Bioscience Forms Collaboration With the Scripps Research Institute and the Georgia Institute of Technology to Develop Panels of Monoclonal Antibodies to Glycan Antigens.

Crystal Bioscience
Posted on: 07 Oct 16

Emeryville, CA, October 6, 2016 ( - ​​​​Crystal Bioscience, an antibody discovery company with a patented chicken-based discovery platform “powered by evolution,” today announced that they have entered into a collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to discover monoclonal antibodies to glycan targets.

“Because the need to understand the functions of glycans is impacting all aspects of the life sciences, there is an increasing need for a toolbox of glycan specific antibodies of well defined specificity” said Jim Paulson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at TSRI.

“The ability to create novel and effective antigens for many different types of glycans would be of tremendous value to the field,” said M.G. Finn, Professor and Chair of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech.

“We are very pleased to be working with leaders in the field of glycobiology” said Rob Etches, President & CEO of Crystal Bioscience.  “Crystal’s antibody discovery platform recognizes epitopes that are not accessible in more conventional platforms such as immunized mice, rats and rabbits.  We have previously raised panels of monoclonal antibodies to highly conserved targets that are not immunogenic in mammals and to targets that are considered difficult such as ion channels and GPCRs.   Our collaboration with the Paulson and Finn labs extends our reach into “difficult” targets to further demonstrate the extraordinary ability of chickens to recognize novel epitopes.”

About TSRI

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs more than 2,500 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including two Nobel laureates and 20 members of the National Academy of Science, Engineering or Medicine—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see

About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities (U.S. News and World Report), providing a focused, technology based education to more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As a leading technological research university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary science and engineering that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to American government, industry, and business.  Information about the Institute may be found at

About Crystal Bioscience
Crystal Bioscience is a privately held company that was founded in 2008 to develop a world-class therapeutic antibody discovery engine using chickens. Its platform is "powered by evolution," exploiting the large phylogenetic distance between mammals and birds to generate a diverse array of antibodies to human targets that have proven intractable in mammalian and other discovery platforms. Crystal’s patented platform provides the unique ability to isolate monoclonal antibodies from immunized chickens, and can screen simultaneously for specificity and biological activity. It has led to the discovery of bioactive monoclonals directed against difficult targets, including GPCRs and ion channels. Chicken antibodies often recognize both human and mouse orthologs, which can simplify early stages of drug development where mouse disease models are used. The depth of screening provided by the GEM assay in combination with the breadth of the antibody repertoire in immunized birds provides access to an unparalleled source of affinity matured antibodies with therapeutic potential.  Crystal has facilitated application of chicken-derived antibodies in therapeutic modalities by creating a proprietary line of genetically engineered chickens which yield fully human antibodies in response to immunization. 

Contact for the Scripps Research Institute: Mika Elizabeth Ono, 858 784-2052,

Contact for the Georgia Institute of Technology:  Laura Diamond, 404-894-6016,

Contact for Crystal Bioscience:  Rob Etches, 510 250 7798,

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 07/10/2016

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