The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a household name in the drug discovery and development industry. Among the NIH’s many recipients is South San Francisco, Calif.-based GigaGen, a biotherapeutics company. GigaGen’s CEO, Dr. Dave Johnson, took some time to talk with us about how NIH funding and participation in the I-Corps commercialization program helped the company build momentum and secure additional funding and partner support.

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“Scrappy.” That’s a one-word summation of GigaGen’s approach to both the business and science of biotech.

“When you’re a new company, you have to be scrappy and clever. When I founded GigaGen in 2011, I didn’t have a big war chest of money, so I had to find a way to be competitive. That’s central for survival,” says Dave Johnson, Ph.D., CEO of GigaGen.

Surge Workflow Performs Complete Interrogation

“Competitive” means “innovative” to Dr. Johnson. That drive to innovate resulted in a proprietary workflow called Surge, which he says not only interrogates every antibody in the immune system, but does it 10 times faster than other technologies.
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SAN FRANCISCO – GigaGen CEO David Johnson announced today that the company has won slots in two highly competitive startup accelerators: the BayBIO F.A.S.T. program, and the StartX accelerator. F.A.S.T. is a 10-week program that matches GigaGen with hundreds of biotech advisers from a variety of industries, such as contract manufacturing, clinical study design, and finance. F.A.S.T is sponsored by biotech companies interested to discover the best innovators of the Bay Area, including Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, and Amgen. StartX is an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford’s top entrepreneurs through experiential education and collective intelligence. GigaGen boasts Stanford graduates CEO David Johnson (PhD Genetics), COO Carter Keller (BS engineering), Director of R&D Adam Adler (PhD Cancer Bio), and Co-Founder Everett Meyer (Professor of Medicine; MD PhD). Fewer than 5% of applicants are accepted to the StartX program.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GigaGen Inc., a biotechnology company advancing transformative antibody drugs for infectious diseases, transplant rejection and checkpoint resistant cancers, announced today the company has initiated large-scale manufacturing of its first-in-class recombinant hyperimmune drug for COVID-19, GIGA-2050, in collaboration with two partners for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Waisman Biomanufacturing and Goodwin Biotechnology, Inc.

Large scale production of GIGA-2050 will support an Investigational New Drug application (IND) and Phase 1 studies in COVID-19 patients. The GMP product will be subjected to nonclinical GLP toxicology and pharmacokinetics studies in fall 2020 and the company expects to reach the clinic in early 2021.

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GigaGen Inc., the leading innovator in massively high-throughput immune repertoire single-cell sequencing and protein expression, today announces that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 9,422,547, covering protein expression methods for the production of polyclonal antibodies from natural immune repertoires. GigaGen has exclusive rights to the patented technology and is leveraging the invention to develop recombinant intravenous immunoglobulin (rIVIG).

GigaGen Inc., a biotechnology company advancing transformative antibody drugs for immune deficiencies, infectious diseases and checkpoint resistant cancers, and a subsidiary of Grifols, announced today the publication of a research article titled, “Predicting antibody binders and generating synthetic antibodies using deep learning,” in the peer-reviewed journal mAbs.

The article demonstrates the potential of GigaGen’s machine learning platform to improve the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies. GigaGen’s machine learning models predict and generate sequences of antibodies that best bind to specific targets and can be used to later generate novel recombinant antibodies against those targets for potential therapeutic application.

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GigaGen Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibody therapies, will be presenting the findings of its research on novel approaches to antibody development and T cell discovery for diseases of immune dysregulation at two upcoming Keystone Symposia conferences. The first conference, “Emerging Cellular Therapies: T Cells and Beyond,” will take place Feb. 11-15 in Keystone, Colo., and the second, “Antibodies as Drugs: Translating Molecules into Treatments,” will be held Feb. 25-March 1 in Whistler, British Columbia.

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GigaGen Inc., a biotechnology company with patented technology for discovery of T cell receptor (TCR) and antibody therapeutics from human immune repertoires, today announced a collaboration with Cellular Therapeutics Limited (CTL) to investigate TCR sequences in Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) for therapeutic potential. CTL, based in Manchester, England, is an immuno-oncology company specializing in the use of autologous TIL to fight a range of cancers.

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GigaGen Inc., a biotechnology company advancing transformative antibody drugs for infectious diseases, transplant rejection and checkpoint resistant cancers, announced today publication of a peer-reviewed article titled, “Affinity maturation of antibodies by combinatorial codon mutagenesis versus error-prone PCR,” in the peer-reviewed journal mAbs. The publication is available online here.

GigaGen’s newly published data details the technical foundation of its approach for the affinity maturation of monoclonal antibodies discovered via its leading single-cell microfluidic technology platform, Surge. Affinity maturation is commonly used for antibody optimization when developing new drugs. The company is leveraging this technology platform for the development of monoclonal antibodies with unique binding and affinity profiles against selected oncology targets.

David Johnson, Ph.D., MBA, co-founder and chief executive officer of GigaGen, commented, “Often, antibodies need to be further engineered through ‘affinity maturation’ to achieve the appropriate affinities and kinetics that translate into in vivo efficacy. While this process can be important for antibody drug development, there are no universally accepted protocols for efficient and high-performance antibody affinity maturation. Our study is one of the most thorough evaluations of affinity maturation methods ever published. We have used knowledge from our work to develop novel antibody therapeutics with unique profiles against selected oncology targets, such as CTLA-4, with the potential to result in enhanced efficacy and safety profiles versus current antibody drug alternatives.”

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