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OmniAb Announces Publication of Scientific Paper on Heavy Chain-Only Single-Domain Antibody Chicken Platform in the Journal of Immunology

OmniAb, Inc. 4 mins read

Engineered chickens producing single domain antibodies (sdAbs) provided the scientific foundation for OmnidAb, the Company’s novel transgenic chicken platform launched in 2023 that generates fully human and stabilized sdAbs


OmniAb, Inc. (NASDAQ: OABI) todayannounced the publication of a peer-reviewed paper titled “Chickens with a Truncated Light Chain Transgene Express Single-Domain H Chain-Only Antibodiesin the Journal of Immunology demonstrating that chickens can be genetically engineered to produce functional heavy chain-only single-domain antibodies.

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Image rendering of OmniAb’s OmnidAb™, a stabilized fully human heavy chain only single domain antibody (Graphic: Business Wire)

Image rendering of OmniAb’s OmnidAb™, a stabilized fully human heavy chain only single domain antibody (Graphic: Business Wire)

sdAbs are produced naturally by camelids and have gained popularity as small, robust and highly modular building blocks for antibody discovery. While most other vertebrates use the standard heterodimeric IgG structure due to the pairing of heavy and light chains and do not produce sdAb format immunoglobulins, OmniAb’s scientific team led this study to investigate if chickens can support an immune repertoire based upon a heavy chain-only scaffold.

“Our team’s published data provided the foundational work supporting the feasibility of the Company’s next-generation transgenic chicken OmnidAb that produces fully human stabilized sdAbs. Unique physical properties of sdAbs can be leveraged for evolving fields of antibody discovery, including alternate routes of administration, diagnostic applications and therapeutic approaches that are being explored by many of our partners,” said Matt Foehr, Chief Executive Officer of OmniAb. “We currently have 80 partners leveraging OmniAb’s various platform technologies and accessing OmniAb antibodies, spanning major geographies and ranging from multinational big pharmas to venture-backed startups and leading academics.”

“Our truncated light chain chickens are designed to produce heavy (H) chain-only antibodies by deleting the light (L) chain variable region and maintaining only the constant region to serve as a chaperone for antibody secretion from the cell. We confirmed in this published study that the H chain variable region functions autonomously as a single domain without further engineering, producing sdAbs with favorable biophysical properties and antigen recognition profiles,” said Philip Leighton, Ph.D., Fellow of Molecular Biology of OmniAb. “Truncated L chain design successfully supported sdAb development and expression in chickens, and we are delighted that this work enabled the successful launch of OmnidAb.”

This article is available in the Scientific Publications section of OmniAb’s website.

About OmniAb®

OmniAb licenses cutting edge discovery research technology to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry to enable the discovery of next-generation therapeutics. Our technology platform creates and screens diverse antibody repertoires and is designed to quickly identify optimal antibodies and other target-binding proteins for our partners’ drug development efforts. At the heart of the OmniAb platform is something we call Biological Intelligence™ (BI), which powers the immune systems of our proprietary, engineered transgenic animals to create optimized antibody candidates for human therapeutics.

We believe the OmniAb animals comprise the most diverse host systems available in the industry. Our suite of technologies and methods, including computational antigen design and immunization methods, paired with high-throughput single B cell phenotypic screening and mining of next-generation sequencing datasets with custom algorithms, are used to identify fully-human antibodies with exceptional performance and developability characteristics.

Our proprietary transgenic animals, including OmniRat®, OmniChicken® and OmniMouse® have been genetically modified to generate antibodies with human sequences to streamline the development of human therapeutic candidates. OmniFlic® and OmniClic® are fixed or common light-chain rats and chickens, respectively, designed to facilitate the discovery of bispecific antibodies. OmniTaur™ provides cow-inspired antibodies with unique structural characteristics for challenging targets. OmnidAb™, is an in vivo platform for the discovery of single domain antibodies based upon a human VH scaffold that affinity matures in a chicken host environment to provide a functionally diverse immune repertoire unavailable from mammalian systems. Our proprietary technologies are joined with and leverage OmniDeep™, which is a suite of in silico, AI and machine learning tools for therapeutic discovery and optimization that are woven throughout our various technologies and capabilities. Additionally, an established core competency focused on ion channels and transporters further differentiates OmniAb’s technology and creates opportunities in many important and emerging target classes.

OmniAb technologies can be leveraged for the discovery of a variety of next-generation antibody-based therapeutic modalities, including bi- and multi-specific biologics, antibody-drug conjugates, CAR-T therapies, targeted radiotherapeutics, and many others.

For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

OmniAb cautions you that statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or continue” and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations and include, but are not limited to: the expected performance of our technologies; their ability to create new discovery workflows; their impact on our partners’ pipelines and products; and the high-affinity and developability of resulting antibodies. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in our business, including, without limitation: our future success is dependent on acceptance of our technology platform and technologies by new and existing partners, as well as on the eventual development, approval and commercialization of products developed by our partners for which we have no control over the development plan, regulatory strategy or commercialization efforts; biopharmaceutical development is inherently uncertain; risks arising from changes in technology; and other risks described in our prior press releases and filings with the SEC, including under the heading “Risk Factors” in the our annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent filings with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, which is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Partner Information

The information in this press release regarding partnered products and programs comes from information publicly released by our partners.

Contact details:

OmniAb, Inc.
Kurt Gustafson
X (Twitter) @OmniAbTech
(510) 768-7760


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