Monday, August 21, 2000
As if there were not enough companies generating antibodies, Avanir
Inc. has formed subsidiary Xenerex Inc. to squeeze into the space with its own antibody
producing mouse. Xenerex's twist is to graft human antibody-producing cells into mice
rather than engineer the mice to express human genes, as do Abgenix Inc. and Medarex Inc.
The technology produces human antibodies by grafting human cells,
either spleen or peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), into immunodeficient SCID mice. The
immune response generates human antibodies via somatic hypermutation, which Xenerex CEO
David Hansen said maximizes the specificity and diversity of the antibodies.