AbTherx Appoints Jessica Stark, PhD, as Scientific Advisor

Glycoimmunology expert and co-inventor of AbLec technology joins AbTherx to expand expertise around challenging drug targets

Mountain View, Calif. – March 20, 2024 – AbTherx, Inc., a biotechnology company with innovative technologies that enable and accelerate antibody discovery, today announced the appointment of Jessica Stark, PhD, as a scientific advisor. In her new role, Dr. Stark will provide guidance on the company’s research strategies with an emphasis on challenging drug targets, including glycan targets that act as immune checkpoints for next-generation cancer immunotherapy.

Dr. Stark’s career is marked by her pioneering work in developing biological technologies to unlock the vast potential of cell-surface sugars, known as glycans, for immunological discovery and immunotherapy. Glycans form a protective layer on the surface of every cell, influencing immunological processes. Despite their significance, drug developers’ ability to identify the specific glycans that regulate immune responses and design targeted therapies remains limited. Dr. Stark’s lab is at the forefront of efforts to comprehend and manipulate the roles of glycans in the immune system, aiming to 1) bridge crucial gaps in immunobiology and 2) forge the path for next-generation immunotherapies.

As a postdoctoral fellow with Professor and Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi at Stanford University, Dr. Stark’s work focused on identifying and targeting glycans that act as immune checkpoints in cancer. She is a co-inventor of antibody-lectin chimeras (AbLecs), a modular platform for glyco-immune checkpoint blockade. She received her PhD in chemical and biological engineering with Professor Michael Jewett at Northwestern University. Dr. Stark is currently an Assistant Professor in the departments of Biological and Chemical Engineering at MIT and an intramural faculty member in MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

“New targets in the field of glycobiology have huge potential in cancer therapy, but despite the clear opportunity, drug developers have struggled to generate glycan-targeting antibody therapeutics,” said Justin Mika, Chief Executive Officer of AbTherx. “At AbTherx, we develop transformative solutions to overcome the most demanding challenges in creating innovative medicines. Dr. Stark’s experience in this field will undoubtedly enhance our efforts to leverage our existing full human diversity, binary fixed light chain, and long CDR3 technologies and develop new technologies to unlock the full potential of this target class.”

“I am thrilled to support AbTherx in their mission to advance antibody discovery for challenging therapeutic targets,” said Jessica Stark, Scientific Advisor of AbTherx. “The team’s outstanding track record as leaders in antibody discovery combined with innovative technology platforms such as Atlas™ Mice makes them uniquely positioned to break new ground in emerging frontier areas such as glycoimmunology.”

About AbTherx, Inc.

AbTherx is advancing medicine with revolutionary technologies that accelerate and enable therapeutic antibody discovery. Through an exclusive partnership with Gilead Sciences, AbTherx has released Atlas™ Mice, a suite of novel transgenic technologies designed for unmatched performance and FTO. For over 20 years, AbTherx’s passionate, innovative, and collaborative team has pushed the boundaries of antibody discovery technologies, leading to over 1,000 successful antibody discovery campaigns and 13 marketed therapeutics. AbTherx’s industry-leading team creates transformative solutions to overcome the most demanding challenges in delivering innovative medicines. Committed to making its technologies accessible to all, AbTherx offers flexible partnering models that meet the needs of drug developers of all sizes. For more information, please visit www.abtherx.com.

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