Rapidly identify and validate new disease antigens

Antigen technology

Based on large libraries of engineered antigen presenting cells (eAPC), Anocca’s antigen technologies allow the precise mapping of if, and how, certain disease antigens are displayed by each patient’s immune system. This allows us to determine which disease antigens should be targeted in each patient.

Nearly all of the cells in our body process antigens and display them on the cell surface for T-cells to sample. A family of proteins called Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) performs the display of antigens at the surface of the cell. Each individual carries dozens of different HLA genes, which are among the most diverse genes in humans, and the precise combination of genes is practically unique to each individual. This means that the immune system of one individual is capable of presenting antigens to T-cells in a range of different contexts, and this range is essentially unique to each individual. This inter- and intra- individual diversity is an important aspect of our immune defenses against rapidly changing pathogens like viruses, ensuring that our immune system can detect new antigens. However, this diversity makes it challenging to determine which antigens are presented in what version of the HLA proteins at the cell surface, and also means that the analysis should effectively be repeated for each individual.

Anocca solves this complexity challenge by constructing large libraries of eAPC, where each cell carries just a single HLA gene, and thus presents just a single HLA protein at the cell surface. Along with a number of other engineered attributes of these eAPC, this allows Anocca to precisely map and characterise the antigens presented by the HLA repertoire of each individual in a systematic and robust manner in a genuine cellular context.

This precise antigen technology platform allows Anocca to discover novel disease antigens that can be targeted in segments of patient populations, and to provide antigens for targeting a specific disease state on an entirely individualised basis for each patient.