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Discovering novel antibodies derived from the human body itself to treat neurodegenerative diseases

Project description

An eagle's eye for antibodies associated with rare diseases may revolutionise therapy

Neurodegenerative diseases are a large family of disorders characterised by progressive degeneration of the structure and function of the nervous system. While great strides have been made in understanding the causes and progression of many of these diseases, treatment and ultimately prevention is still quite challenging. Human-derived antibodies that can recognise threats with high specificity and mount a defence with minimal side effects hold great but largely unreleased potential to combat neurodegenerative disease processes. The Swiss biotech company Mabylon has developed powerful technologies to screen for some of the rarest antibodies. With the EU-funded HominAb project, scientists are laying the groundwork for commercialisation of their screening platform to target diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.


Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the disease fields with the highest unmet need. Decades of research have been invested in finding cures, however almost none have been successful. Antibodies have great therapeutic potential to treat these diseases as they are broadly applicable to specifically target different aspects of disease-causing processes. However, most of current non-human antibodies are limited by side-effects and a lack of specificity. Human-derived antibodies, derived from human blood samples, provide a solution for these limitations. They are naturally designed by the human immune system to fight toxic moieties with higher efficacy and specificity and are expected to have lower side-effects when compared to antibodies of non-human origin. However a large amount of blood samples is required to identify the rarest and most specific antibodies.

Mabylon is a biotechnology company that capitalizes on the human body’s own protective capability to generate antibodies against human disease. Mabylon’s unique screening platform allows identification of a “needle in the haystack” and develop fully human antibodies for diseases with high unmet medical need in the field of allergies and neurodegenerative diseases. Mabylon is currently developing several antibodies including an antibody for TDP-43, a toxic protein associated with diseases progression in ALS and FTD. ALS as a potential initial market could generate €110M in licensing revenue in 2021-2025 and €170M in royalties (5%) from 2026-2030. In addition, platform expansion towards other indications addresses a total neurodegenerative drug market worth €40B by 2022.

In the HominAb project, we will investigate our market positioning, the commercial landscape, preclinical development and licensing strategy in order to enable successful commercial maturation of our platform for neurodegenerative diseases.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Wagistrasse 14
8952 Schlieren

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00