AbCellera has announced a partnership with Gilead to discover antibodies for infectious disease.

The companies say that the collab will focus on discovering ultra-rare antibodies with certain defined properties for the treatment of an array of infectious diseases in which AbCellera will apply its expertise in single-cell screening of natural immune sources to generate rich panels of antibody candidates for evaluation by Gilead.

Under the agreement, AbCellera will receive upfront and research payments and is eligible to receive downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products.

AbCellera’s team can interrogate millions of single B cells in a campaign, an approach that has proven successful in identifying low-frequency subsets of antibodies among large and diverse panels of binders. In this collaboration, AbCellera will be looking for ultra-rare antibodies with specific properties defined by Gilead, a challenging problem that demands screening depths that are orders of magnitude higher than alternative discovery approaches.

AbCellera says that it is “dedicated to partnering with the most innovative companies to discover breakthrough therapies, and we look forward to adding our technology to Gilead’s early research efforts,” commented Carl Hansen, president and CEO of the company.

Over the past three years, AbCellera has successfully completed more than 30 antibody discovery programs, including deals with seven global pharmaceutical companies and top-tier public and venture-backed biotech companies.