Canada’s AbCellera receives grant from Gates Foundation to help fight tuberculosis

22 January 2017 (Last Updated January 22nd, 2017 18:30)

Canadian-based AbCellera has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help fight tuberculosis.

Canada’s AbCellera receives grant from Gates Foundation to help fight tuberculosis

Canadian-based AbCellera has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help fight tuberculosis.

The grant will be used to discover monoclonal antibodies against mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). 

As part of the project, the company’s antibody discovery platform will be used to generate panels of monoclonal antibodies against ten tuberculosis targets.

New diagnostic tests will be developed using these antibodies for disease caused by Mtb.

AbCellera founding CEO Dr Carl Hansen said: "It is a real honour to have the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and we are grateful for the chance to contribute in the fight against tuberculosis."

"It is a real honour to have the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and we are grateful for the chance to contribute in the fight against tuberculosis."

The company has established a microfluidic single-cell platform using, where several immune cells can be screened in a single day to increase the speed and efficiency of monoclonal antibody discovery from natural immune responses of immunised animals and human patients. 

With AbCellera's technology in place, new avenues open up for human immune profiling, as well as infectious disease research to accelerate the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines that are required immediately.

An estimated nine million new cases of tuberculosis is reported globally each year.

The company stated that the development of low-cost tests with better sensitivity would have major impact in combating the disease spread in low-income to middle-income countries.


Image: Close-up of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture revealing the organism’s colonial morphology. Photo: courtesy of CDC / Dr. George Kubica.