New EMBL spinoff company Velabs Therapeutics strives to speed up the discovery of new and better therapeutic antibodies

An established proprietary microfluidics technology from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) allows for fast screening of antibodies from natural sources and even difficult targets. With the startup company Velabs Therapeutics, launched by the EMBL and its technology transfer arm EMBLEM Technology Transfer GmbH (EMBLEM) together with private investors, the advantages of the platform are now made accessible to the antibody community around the globe.

“We have been using microfluidics at EMBL for years, and seen its potential in different fields”, says Christoph Merten, group leader at EMBL Heidelberg and developer of the platform. “Especially in the field of antibody-screening the advantages of our platform over existing technologies stood out.”

Velabs is a pioneer in microfluidics-based technologies for functional screening of antibodies. The high-throughput screening platform allows for testing millions of correctly paired fully natural IgGs from humans and mice for therapeutic effects, rather than just for binding. Results are obtained in only a fraction of the time required by other technologies. Velabs’ antibody screens can thus significantly and competitively shorten pre-clinical development.

We have built a solid patent portfolio around the microfluidic technology at EMBL over the years and the novel platform has been validated in several industry collaborations.

Gábor Lamm, Managing Director EMBLEM

“We have built a solid patent portfolio around the microfluidic technology at EMBL over the years and the novel platform has been validated in several industry collaborations. Velabs Therapeutics now has a strong basis to expand the technology and make it broadly available in the market”, says Gábor Lamm, Managing Director for EMBLEM.

Velabs offers customized screening services for users worldwide. Besides carrying out service projects, the company also works on establishing a proprietary pipeline of therapeutic antibody candidates and further development of the technology platform.

About Velabs Therapeutics

Velabs Therapeutics is a spin-out from Europe’s most prestigious life science research and instrumentation institute, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), which has been at the forefront of microfluidics-based screening technology development and applications world-wide. The company’s droplet-based microfluidic screening technology aims at the fast generation of antibodies against target molecules presented on cellular membrane surfaces or as soluble protein. VELABS has pioneered the use of droplet microfluidics for the fast screening of correctly paired human antibodies that do not just bind to a drug target, but rather modulate its function.
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About EMBL

EMBL is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. We are an intergovernmental organisation established in 1974 and are supported by over 20 member states. EMBL performs fundamental research in molecular biology, studying the story of life. We offer services to the scientific community; train the next generation of scientists and strive to integrate the life sciences across Europe. We are international, innovative and interdisciplinary. We are more than 1600 people, from over 80 countries, operating across six sites in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Heidelberg (Germany), Cambridge (UK), Rome (Italy), and Barcelona (Spain). Our scientists work in independent groups and conduct research and offer services in all areas of molecular biology. Our research drives the development of new technology and methods in the life sciences. We work to transfer this knowledge for the benefit of society.
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EMBLEM, established in 1999, identifies, protects and commercializes the intellectual property developed in the EMBL world, from EMBL alumni and from non-EMBL third parties. EMBLEM currently manages a portfolio of more than 350 granted patents and patent applications, and has created 18 spin-out companies. EMBLEM facilitates and accelerates the transfer of innovative technology from basic research to industry by working closely with industrial partners spanning the biotech, IT and mechanical/electrical engineering markets and currently has more than 400 licensees of EMBL technologies.
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