By Matthew Willett
Aviva Biosciences Corp. spun off an antibody company, Aviva Antibody Corp., in an effort to focus its efforts on its core business, developing multiple-force active biological chips.
Aviva Antibody will make Weiping Yang, Aviva¿s senior director of immunoassay, the antibody company¿s CEO, and Aviva chairman Charles Sie will also serve as Aviva Antibody¿s chairman.
Privately held Aviva Biosciences¿ director of business development, Brooks Ensign, said the move will allow Aviva to focus on its chips.
¿Aviva developed some proprietary screening technology which can be leveraged in antibody production using the phage display method,¿ Ensign told BioWorld Today. ¿[Yang] has a lot of experience in that area, and in order to do proteomic and other post-genomic work with our chips there¿s a need by our company for a greater variety of specialized monoclonal antibodies.¿
San Diego-based Aviva Biosciences will maintain a minority interest in the antibody company. Ensign said Aviva Antibody Corp. will pursue corporate partnerships to create and develop antibodies using partner-provided targets.
¿We decided, looking at our research projects and the need to focus our efforts on [chip] development, to create a separately focused company in order to attract other investment for the antibody production.¿
Efforts to secure financing for the antibody company from outside sources are under way, Ensign said, as are efforts at attracting partners. ¿It¿s a young company, a new company, and the initial activities are completing staffing and establishing the operations,¿ he said.
The technology for antibody creation is an outgrowth of Aviva¿s chip technology, Ensign added.
¿It¿s based on a nonexclusive license [to the antibody company] for antibody production, based on [Yang¿s] experience with antibodies, and coupled with our proprietary screening technology that came from our [chip] research,¿ Ensign said.
Aviva Bioscience¿s core technology involves cell manipulation and screening systems for pharmaceutical, diagnostics and life sciences customers. The company was established in 1999.