Pfizer extends field of use for Cambridge-developed antibody engineering technology


A field-specific licence for an antibody engineering technology developed at the University of Cambridge has been extended to all fields with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The technology, developed by a team led by Dr Mike Clark of the Department of Pathology and by Dr Lorna Williamson of the Department of Haematology, has already been incorporated into Pfizer’s tanezumab, which is currently in late-stage clinical trials. Pfizer now wish to have greater access to the technology for use in other therapeutic antibodies in development.

Tanezumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) that selectively targets nerve growth factor (NGF), a regulator of pain processing and sensitivity. The majority of the other antibodies under development that incorporate this technology are intended to act by inhibiting or modulating responses. Ideally, these mAbs have constant regions that have optimised functions and that do not cause destructive responses such as complement activation.

The Cambridge team has made modifications to the antibody constant region that modulate its effector functions. The ability to fine-tune these functions is an important area of research and may improve the clinical profile of therapeutic antibodies such as tanezumab.

Cambridge Enterprise Limited, University of Cambridge

Cambridge Enterprise Limited is responsible for the commercialisation of University of Cambridge intellectual property and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University. Activities include management and licensing of intellectual property and patents, proof of concept funding and support for University staff and research groups wishing to provide expert
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The University leads the world in transformative research and Cambridge Enterprise is well placed to support the academics to find the best commercialisation route for their innovations either through licensing, company creation or consultancy. Income over the past two years exceeded £18 million, of which almost £14 million was distributed to University academics and departments, with the remainder reinvested in patent assets, seed fund pools and support for knowledge and technology transfer services to the University.


Shirley Jamieson
Head of Marketing
Cambridge Enterprise Limited
Tel: 01223 760 339


Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

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