"For such a young institution, we are delighted to see it ranked #20 on Nature Index's list of "Rising Stars" alongside more established academic peers such as Stanford, Rockefeller and the Salk Institute," said Peter G. Schultz, who is the President of Calibr, as well as Chief Executive Officer of The Scripps Research Institute. "This ranking acknowledges both the productivity and innovation of Calibr's scientific efforts as it works to accelerate the translation of basic biomedical research into new medicines that address unmet medical needs."
Biomedical research efforts by Calibr scientists appearing in Nature Index journals during the studied period include the following:
- Development of a "switchable" chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell platform technology method for harnessing the potent anti-cancer activity of CAR-T cell cancer therapy while minimizing the severe side effects associated with its use. This technology stands to lower the costs of this therapy and bring challenging diseases, such as solid tumors and heterogeneous blood cancers, into scope of treatment with CAR-T cells. Calibr is currently advancing this technology toward the clinic for the treatment of several disease indications.
- Next-generation bispecific antibodies were developed using novel site-specific recombinant DNA technology that target T cells to the surface of cancer cells in novel ways to eliminate cancer with high efficacy. Calibr has developed a range of molecules targeting prostate cancer, breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma. The most advanced of these is currently in late preclinical development for prostate cancer with support from the Wellcome Trust.
- A platform technology for generating functional antibody agonists, antagonist and ion channel inhibitors was developed to create therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of chronic diseases. Following on key structural studies reported in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute, scientists developed a generalizable method for engineering the hypervariable loops of antibodies to endow them with new biological activities while maintaining their long-acting pharmacokinetics. One such molecule for the treatment of chronic heart failure is being advanced to the clinic in partnership with Pfizer, while a number of others are being developed for the treatment of such diseases as cystic fibrosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
- Discovery of the FDA-approved anti-rheumatic drug auranofin as an anti-mycobacterial agent. The work is part of Calibr's ongoing commitment to identify low-cost treatments for neglected diseases that disproportionately affect developing nations. Calibr has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop auranofin for the treatment of patients with tuberculosis, which remains one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases. Clinical studies are expected to begin in 2016.
More information about the Nature Index, including its methodology and the list of 68 top academic journals surveyed, can be found here: https://www.natureindex.com/faq.
About The California Institute for Biomedical Research
The California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) is an independent not-for-profit institute established in 2012 with the goal of accelerating the translation of basic research to new medicines that address unmet medical needs. Collaborations with researchers across the world expedite the translation of basic biomedical findings to new candidate therapeutics, while enabling commercial partnerships are formed to bring these new medicines to the public. Value created from these activities is reinvested in preclinical and clinical research at the institute to create a self-sustaining, 'evergreen' model for not-for-profit biomedical research.
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SOURCE The California Institute for Biomedical Research