Nature Biotechnology – Alchemab Therapeutics – Cracking the secrets of protective auto-immunity by Michael Eisenstein, 12 September 2022
Alchemab was delighted to be featured in Nature Biotechnology in a profile by Michael Eisenstein. In the article he speaks with Young Kwon, our CEO, and Jane Osbourn, our founder and CSO, about Alchemab’s revolutionary approach of looking for protective antibodies in ‘resilient’ people which may provide a new approach for discovering drug targets:
“Our hypothesis is that, at least in some cases, people have protective autoantibodies that are providing them with some disease resilience,” explains Jane Osbourn, the company’s CSO and co-founder….But finding clinically interesting signals in vast immune repertoire datasets is no simple task. For one thing, the sequence space of the immune repertoire is vast….….Clever algorithms can help stack the odds in favor of a successful search. Alchemab has developed a specialized machine learning-based framework known as AntiBERTa, which they are using to find meaningful patterns in B cell repertoire data. Beyond identifying shared repertoire features that may distinguish disease-resilient individuals, Osbourn says that AntiBERTa can identify key structural features in the antibody’s antigen-binding domain that might help uncover the cognate protein target….…“We’re going from millions and millions of sequences to choosing maybe 50 that we then put into our biology assays,” says Osbourn.