Biotechnology Awards 2024

6 Feb24196 Based in San Diego, Antharis Therapeutics, Inc. is an oncological biopharmaceutical company working to fulfil unmet medical needs with biotherapeutics that, among other strategies, harness and unleash the power of the immune system. In particular, its work centres around the development of monoclonal antibodies and antibodydrug conjugates that can be used to treat multiple cancer types. Here, we speak to CEO and Chairman Dr. Raphael R Pinaud, PhD, MBA to find out more about Antharis and its fascinating work. ancer cells often employ immune evasion mechanisms, which is why treatments like CAR T-cell therapy focus on exploiting the immuno-oncological interface by genetically engineering patients’ T-cells to recognise and attack cancer cells. In 2020, Antharis was established based on the belief that the future of cancer treatment holds greater promise on the targeted and optimised recruitment and activation of immune system cells to combat diseases. However, the company believes that monoclonal antibodies have the potential to modulate immune responses and disrupt cancer cell biology with high efficiency and potentially fewer adverse effects. Furthermore, unlike other methods, monoclonal antibodies are accessible and affordable for patients as they are readily available off-the-shelf and can be produced on a large scale. In light of these benefits, Antharis is working to develop monoclonal antibody therapies, leveraging cutting-edge science and technologies to achieve high success rates. The company boasts a number of distinct technical advantages, including its use of innovative and scientifically rigorous criteria for target selection. This not only ensures the therapeutic relevance of chosen targets but also supports, among a number of different mechanisms, the dynamic and robust engagement of immune cell responses to tackle diseases. As a result, Antharis is now equipped with one of the sector’s most prolific and strategic portfolios of oncological products capable of targeting numerous types of cancer. Its goal is to alleviate the impact of severe diseases by realising the potential of these therapies, providing new optimism for patients across the world. Another factor that sets Antharis apart from the rest is its unique approach to asset production, which plays an important role in the generation of effective monoclonal antibodies. “Particularly, along with traditional methods, Antharis also employs DNA-based immunisation strategies, which leverage the cell’s machinery to produce target proteins of interest in-vivo,” explains Dr. Raphael R Pinaud. “This approach, relative to traditional immunisation strategies, may yield antibodies that preferentially recognise the native conformation of target proteins, as seen in disease states, thereby potentially enhancing our success rates in developing therapeutically efficacious monoclonal antibodies.” Currently, Antharis is at a pivotal stage in its work as it focuses on optimising the effectiveness of its monoclonal antibodies and advancing its most promising products towards the clinic. In order to swiftly bring its innovative solutions to those in critical need, the company is engaging in advanced research and development and preparing its regulatory structure. More recently, Antharis has initiated conversations with major investment banks, and has been carefully exploring the potential of taking the company to the public markets. Alongside this, it has engaged in preliminary discussions with relevant pharmaceutical companies, exploring the potential of partnering on asset co-development and licensing projects. Internally, Antharis is equipped with a diverse team of experts with backgrounds in various disciplines, from molecular and cellular biology to immunology and computer science. The company believes that its workforce plays a pivotal role in its overall success, serving as the foundation for its ability to tackle complex challenges and innovate in the competitive biotechnology landscape. For this reason, it is no surprise that Antharis takes a meticulous and strategic approach to hiring, thoroughly evaluating candidates’ qualifications, experience, personality, and values. In this, the company seeks to identify those who demonstrate technical expertise, a collaborative mindset, and passion for driving the advancement of therapeutic solutions. Raphael adds, “Our recruitment efforts extend beyond traditional channels, leveraging industry networks, relationships with academic institutions, and participation in conferences to connect with top-tier professionals.” In order to attract and retain the industry’s top talent, it is important for Antharis to maintain a focus on fostering a positive internal culture. The company is deeply committed to driving innovation and collaboration by encouraging respect, curiosity, critical thinking, and hard work amongst its team. It also provides them with boundless opportunities for continuous learning and professional growth. This creates a dynamic environment in which team members are prepared to work together to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and develop advanced treatments for patients in need. This shared vision is instrumental to the success of Antharis, leading to heightened efficiency, quicker problemsolving, and increased responsiveness to industry trends. As a result, it is always well-positioned to stay ahead of the curve, swiftly adapting to changes in market demands and developments in the ever-evolving world of science. “We believe that ground-breaking solutions often emerge at the intersection of different perspectives,” Raphael comments. “In essence, our culture is one of relentless pursuit, where each member is empowered to contribute their unique strengths, and together, we strive to make a meaningful treatments that hold great potential to impact patients’ lives.” For their revolutionary monoclonal antibody programme, we are pleased to present the team at Antharis with the title of Biopharmaceutical Company of the Year, California, in the Biotechnology Awards 2024. Looking towards the future, the company remains wholly dedicated to improving patient outcomes and bringing the next generation of therapies to the healthcare sector. In the long-term, it envisions the continued expansion of its existing biotherapeutics pipeline, enabling it to help patients Biopharmaceutical Company of the Year 2024 - California C