Aug 22, 2022
Dr. Jessica Grossman is the CEO of an early stage biotech, IgGenix, the world leader in discovering and characterizing IgE antibodies which have been identified as the cause of allergies. With an initial focus on peanut allergy, IgGenix is developing a plan to use a subcutaneous injection to block specific allergic reactions immediately.
Jessica explains, "At IgGenix, what we do is start with whole blood donations from allergic donors. And we take that blood and isolate out the single B cells that are making the IgE antibodies. We get those IgE antibodies, and we transform them into an IgG antibody that's actually protective. And I'll use again, peanut as an example. That's our lead program, which we're the furthest ahead. We have done some pre-clinical work, some animal studies, which look remarkably promising, and I'm excited about it. But what we envision our therapy looking like is an antibody therapeutic that would be given to an individual, and the antibody would immediately protect them from any accidental exposure."
"So we isolate these very rare B cells that produce IgE antibodies, and they're about 0.05% of the circulating blood cells. Because the IgE antibodies are so rare, they're also extremely potent, meaning they have a very high affinity. And when you are allergic, they seek out the food that you're allergic to and cause this immediate reaction. What we're doing is taking those very potent IgE antibodies, converting them to IgG antibodies to act as blockers."
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