For decades, the field of immunology was a black box. Leading experts in science and medicine had only a basic understanding of the powerful complexity of the human immune system. Everything changed in 1983 when a mysterious virus — later identified as HIV — swept through the world claiming the lives of otherwise healthy men and women. The hunt for a cure led to a more comprehensive understanding of the immune system.
This altered the course of drug discovery and development. Antibodies became a household name, and the insights gained about their function and formation led pharmaceutical giants to invest in therapies that manipulated the body’s immune system to achieve a desired therapeutic goal. This led to safer and more potent therapeutics.
Nearly forty years later, the fields of immunology and pharmacology are in the midst of another surge of scientific growth. Equipped with knowledge and tools acquired from various disciplines, biotechnology companies like Distributed Bio are redefining how pharmaceutical companies identify, design, and synthesize therapeutics.
“We are now able to engineer antibodies in the lab faster than the body can do it,” says Jacob Glanville, a computational immuno-engineer and President of Distributed Bio. “It’s taken us 30 years to get there, but we’re in this golden age now in bioengineering where we’re really able to produce these molecules in unprecedented speed. And that’s what’s so exciting about today.”
…we’re in this golden age now in bioengineering…