AdAlta Pty Ltd

Next generation antibody drug discovery


Ms. Samantha Cobb


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Post author: Samantha Cobb. Last update: 30/10/2015 at 11:42 am by Samantha Cobb.

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AdAlta has significant expertise and proprietary libraries that will enable the discovery and identification of lead candidates.

AdAlta has a number of libraries that can be screened against any target to identify novel binders including:

  • shark antibodies: single domain shark antibody libraries; and
  • i-bodies: humanised analogues of shark antibodies.

Shark antibodies and i-bodies combine the advantages of conventional antibodies with important features of small molecule drugs.

Like conventional antibodies, shark antibodies and i-bodies have exquisite target specificity and high affinity for their target.

AdAlta’s shark antibody and i-body technologies have a number of advantages in the antibody and next generation biologics landscape.

Superior Biophysical Properties

  • Shark antibodies have evolved to be smaller in size and more stable than traditional monoclonal antibodies. We have found that shark antibodies and i-bodies are resistant to degradation at extremes of temperature and pH.
  • Due to this extreme stability, shark antibodies and i-bodies can be manufactured in bacterial systems, a cheap and easy method of manufacturing compared to traditional antibodies which require human cell culture.
  • The i-body uses a human protein as its framework, incorporating features of the shark antibody within this human scaffold. As a human protein, there is less likely to be an immune response (also known as immunogenicity) with an i-body.

Targeting of Non-traditional Antigens

  • The shark antibody and i-body both have a long binding loop that human antibodies and other next generation antibodies don’t have. In human antibodies this binding loop, known as the CDR3 region, is between 10-13 amino acids in length. The AdAlta shark antibody and i-body CDR3 binding loops are up to 20 amino acids in length. The shark antibody and i-body with this long binding loop can bind sites that are difficult for traditional antibodies to target, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR’s), ion channels, hydrophobic grooves and enzyme clefts.
  • Purification of membrane spanning proteins, such as GPCR’s, is a major obstacle in the discovery of protein-based therapeutics directed against this class of proteins. The AdAlta process allows the isolation of conformational binders against natively folded and naturally modified membrane spanning proteins without the need to purify the antigen. Therefore, the AdAlta technology is particularly well suited to approach difficult to purify targets, such as ion-channels and GPCRs.
  • Both, GPCRs and ion channels are major drug target classes that traditionally have been approached by small molecular weight compounds. Small molecules, however oftentimes show inadequate target specificity that can result in treatment-limiting adverse effects. Antibodies including AdAlta’s shark antibody and i-body technologies, in contrast, have the potential to be very effective and highly specific for their target and can thereby bypass the shortcomings of small molecule drugs such as reducing off-target effects.

Tailored Drug Formats

  • Due to their extraordinary stability, AdAlta’s shark antibody and i-bodies serve as building blocks to engineer antibody-based protein therapeutics with multiple specificities and with tailored pharmacokinetic properties.
  • Because of their stability they also have the ability to be administered in alternative ways to current therapeutic antibodies.

Speed and Quality in Discovery

  • AdAlta uses phage display technology that allows rapid screening of its proprietary libraries containing billions of antigen-binding shark antibodies and i-bodies within a short period of time. Most importantly this technology shortens the discovery phase of a project



AdAlta has a number of libraries that can be screened against any target to identify novel binders including:

  • shark antibodies: single domain shark antibody libraries; and
  • i-bodies: humanised analogues of shark antibodies.

AdAlta uses phage display technology to its proprietary libraries.

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AdAlta Pty Ltd

AdAlta Pty Ltd. 15/2 Park Drive, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

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Type: Core facility in a research organisation
Discipline areas: Biological Science
Precinct: Central
Affiliations: La Trobe Institute of Molecular Sciences, La Trobe University
Accreditation: GLP
Biological Science categories: Discovery, Drug development, Proteins and peptides, Recombinant proteins

Tags: drug discovery, next generation antibodies