SAN DIEGO, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- AnaptysBio, Inc., a privately held therapeutic antibody company, today announced the addition of Andrew J. McKnight, Ph.D. as Senior Director, Target Biology. Dr. McKnight comes to AnaptysBio with extensive experience in the design and development of novel therapeutic antibodies across a variety of therapeutic areas. Working together with David J. King, Ph.D., AnaptysBio's chief scientific officer, Dr. McKnight will be leading the advancement of AnaptysBio's current and future internal pipeline programs.
AnaptysBio's primary objective is the advancement of novel therapeutic antibody programs generated using the Company's proprietary SHM-XEL platform. As the first company to replicate somatic hypermutation (SHM) in vitro for antibody discovery, AnaptysBio's SHM-XEL platform is uniquely positioned to generate therapeutic antibodies with unique functionality. The Company is currently pursuing differentiated programs in cancer immunotherapy, inflammation, muscle wasting disorders and antibody-drug conjugate applications. AnaptysBio's internal programs are independent of the Company's partnerships with Merck, Roche, Novartis, Celgene, Gilead and DARPA.
Dr. McKnight comes to AnaptysBio most recently from Pfizer's Biotherapeutics group, where he directed numerous internal and partnered antibody development projects. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. McKnight led antibody projects at UCB-Celltech. Dr. McKnight received his doctorate from University of Oxford and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.
"We are delighted to add Andrew's target biology experience to AnaptysBio's research and development team," said Hamza Suria, AnaptysBio's president and chief executive officer. "The unique strengths of our SHM-XEL platform provide AnaptysBio with distinct advantages in the design and discovery of novel therapeutic antibodies."
Founded in 2005, AnaptysBio, Inc. is a privately-held company focused on the generation of antibody therapeutics, and the leader in the use of somatic hypermutation (SHM) for antibody discovery and optimization. SHM is the body's natural process for generating potent antibodies. AnaptysBio's proprietary SHM-XEL platform, which couples fully human antibody libraries with in vitro somatic hypermutation (SHM) in mammalian cells to generate high affinity lead candidates, replicates key features of the human immune system and overcomes limitations of prior antibody technologies. By harnessing the natural mechanism of antibody maturation under controlled conditions, SHM-XEL allows for the selection of optimal antibody properties such as high affinity, functionality, cross-reactivity and epitope diversity. AnaptysBio has established broad intellectual property around the use of SHM and is currently building a pipeline of novel therapeutic antibody product candidates. The Company has previously announced pharma partnerships with Merck, Roche, Novartis, Celgene and Gilead. Major investors in AnaptysBio include founding investor Avalon Ventures, as well as Alloy Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, and Novo A/S. For more information, visit www.anaptysbio.com.
SOURCE AnaptysBio, Inc.