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The Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery Reopens with Exhibit Exploring the Effects of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Philadelphia,Pa- The Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery is reopening for the first time
since April, with Socius, a new solo exhibition by Philadelphia artist, Rebecca Rutstein
(https://rebeccarutstein.com/). Rutstein recently completed a BioArt Residency designed in partnership
between the Science Center and the biotech company Integral Molecular, where she spent three
months working alongside laboratory scientists. The culmination of this residency is an exhibit of large
and small-scale paintings and a multi-media installation.

Inspired by the Latin word for “bond” or “interaction” and deriving from societas, the derivative for
“society,” Rutstein’s work is an exploration of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 virus both at the cellular micro
level, and also at a macro level amongst the community.

Many of the works on view are inspired by microscopic observations of communities that living cells
create, as well as cells fluorescing as they are infected with the virus using Integral Molecular’s Reporter
Virus Particle (RVP) technology. Using fluorescence, RVPs allow us to visualize human cells being
infected upon interactions of viral spike proteins with receptors on the cell surface, and have been a tool
for discovering protective antibodies that neutralize the virus. At the macro level, two paintings which
track data of infections and deaths show racial inequities and disparities during the pandemic, and the
contrasting effects on different minority communities.

Also on view is Rutstein’s immersive sculpture, light and sound installation. Sub Surficiem, inspired by
the artist’s observance of living cells through a microscope, is a sculptural installation backlit with LED
lights programmed to simulate a video time-lapse of living cells fluorescing as they become infected
with SARS-CoV-2 using Integral Molecular’s RVP technology. Confluence is the sound component to Sub
Surficiem and its macro counterpart. This five-minute piece is a sonification of data that tracks COVID-19
cases, deaths and vaccinations in Philadelphia, each set of data its own track layered into the
composition. The digital rendering of a full range of stringed instruments was created in collaboration
with Mexican composer Mauricio Rodriguez, NEA fellow and Doctor of Musical Composition from
Stanford University. Philly-based musician, Frank Masciocchi (part of the Integral Molecular team) also
contributed interpretive guitar sounds creating ambient dissonance within the piece.

This immersive installation takes the viewer beyond the microscope lens while “listening” to the
macrodata of the Philadelphia community, reflecting on the positive impact of vaccines yet
acknowledging the uncertainty that remains.

Socius opens on August 5th with a reception and artist talk at the gallery by Rutstein herself. A closing
reception with a live performance will be held on September 23rd.
https://sciencecenter.org/events/socius-rebecca-rutstein-ekg

The BioArt Residency is made possible through a grant from the Edna Andrade Fund of the Philadelphia
Foundation.

About the Artist
Multidisciplinary artist Rebecca Rutstein works at the intersection of art, science and technology. For
over twenty years she has created painting, sculpture, interactive installation and public art inspired by
geology, microbiology and marine science, and has joined scientists on several expeditions exploring the
deep sea. Rutstein is passionate about creating visual and immersive experiences that connect the
viewer with hidden environments, deepening their connection with the natural world. Her collaborations
have been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Academies of Science / Keck Futures
Initiative, Ocean Exploration Trust, Schmidt Ocean Institute and the Edna Andrade Fund of the
Philadelphia Foundation. She has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Independence Foundation
Fellowship, PA Council on the Arts grant, is an MIT Ocean Discovery Fellow, and was recently named the
Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding at the University of Georgia. Rutstein’s work can be found
in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of
the Fine Arts Museum, Yale University, University of New Mexico and the US Department of State. She
has been represented by Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia since 2001.

About the Science Center
Established in 1963, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit that commercializes promising
technology, cultivates talent, and convenes people to inspire action. With partnerships across top
academic and research institutions, industry, and healthcare systems, the Science Center is helping lifesaving technologies transition from bench to bedside and nurturing a workforce that supports a 21st
century economy. For more information, visit sciencecenter.org sciencecenter.org and follow @UCScienceCenter.

About the Esther Klein Gallery
The Esther Klein Gallery (EKG), which opened in 1977, uses the creative arts as a platform to explore
relationships between art, science and technology. EKG seeks to positively impact the cultural life of both
its immediate neighborhood of West Philadelphia and the broader Philadelphia community. EKG
programming is designed to explore the range of art, science and technology exhibitions, and includes
gallery talks, panel discussions, and education programs. For more information, visit
www.sciencecenter.org/discover/ekg

About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing
therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the
surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug
discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for
cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue
viruses.

Integral Molecular Launches Transgene Protein Engineering Platform to Address Challenges in Gene Therapy

PHILADELPHIA – Integral Molecular, the industry leader in membrane proteins, announces the launch of GeneCanvas™, its proprietary protein engineering platform to optimize transgenes and other gene therapy elements.

GeneCanvas can achieve 10 to 100 fold increases in gene activity by improving transgene protein expression, trafficking, stability, and function. These enhancements will ultimately result in better efficacy, smaller doses, and improved safety for patients.

The GeneCanvas platform is built on Integral Molecular’s 20 years of experience in optimizing the most challenging and structurally complex proteins known, such as GCPRs, ion channels, transporters, and viral envelopes. GeneCanvas incorporates the company’s proprietary high-throughput mutagenesis and human cell screening platforms that enable the creation and screening of large libraries of variants, which have been used in hundreds of projects internally and for partners.

“Our scientists bring an unrivaled mix of deep expertise in protein engineering, cell biology, and virology to develop a customized strategy for each engineering challenge,” said Joseph Rucker, PhD, Vice-president of Research and Development at Integral Molecular.

Integral Molecular showcased its GeneCanvas platform during the digital BIO International Convention that took place in June 2021.

About Integral Molecular

Integral Molecular (integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.

Integral Molecular’s Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Epitope Mapping Supports Regulatory Requirements for the Development of Therapeutic Antibodies Effective Against Viral Variants

PHILADELPHIA – At the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, Integral Molecular’s rapid Epitope Mapping technology is being used to pinpoint precise binding sites of therapeutic SARS-CoV-2 antibodies under development and can help determine their effectiveness against emerging viral variants. These efforts are important in keeping pace with the ever-changing virus and the requirements of regulatory agencies such as the FDA in testing new therapeutics against the virus.

Using its Shotgun Mutagenesis Epitope Mapping technology, Integral Molecular identifies the specific amino acids bound by antibodies on all regions of the Spike protein, including the receptor binding domain (RBD), N-terminal domain (NTD) and S2 regions. In most cases, complex conformational epitopes can be mapped in 4 weeks. Integral Molecular can also assess an individual antibody’s binding to Spike variants of greatest concern, including UK B.1.1.7 (Alpha), South African B.1.351 (Beta), Brazilian P.1 (Gamma), and Indian B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants.

“As emerging variants continue to devastate much of the world, it is important to remain vigilant with therapeutics that are effective against the evolving virus,” said Edgar Davidson, PhD, Virologist at Integral Molecular. “We are proud to support scientists in their FDA filings, providing data quickly to better understand their antibodies’ mechanisms of action and potential for viral resistance.”

Epitopes mapped by Integral Molecular have been essential in studies examining how antibodies fight COVID-19. These include characterization of NTD-targeting antibodies that provided prophylactic or therapeutic protection in animals (Suryadevara et al., Cell, 2021), development of a cocktail of anti-RBD antibodies resistant to viral escape when used in combination (Ku et al., Nature Communications, 2021), and identification of commonly occurring antibodies in the population that target Spike regions including S2 (Chen et al., bioRxiv, 2021). In addition to epitope mapping, Integral Molecular offers pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 reporter virus particles to test antibody neutralization against over 30 reference strains and emerging variants.

About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.

Integral Molecular Expands Partnership with Japan’s Life Sciences Distributor Funakoshi to Provide Access to Antibody Specificity and Epitope Mapping Services

PHILADELPHIA – Integral Molecular has expanded its partnership with Funakoshi, a leader in distributing life science research reagents and services, to be the exclusive provider of Integral Molecular’s therapeutic antibody characterization technologies in Japan. The partnership will provide researchers with access to antibody characterization technologies optimized to deliver IND-ready results in as little as 4 weeks, including off-target specificity profiling using the Membrane Proteome Array and high-resolution epitope mapping using Shotgun Mutagenesis.

Detailed specificity and epitope analysis are critical for therapeutic antibody success and intellectual property protection. Integral Molecular’s antibody characterization platforms are designed to succeed even with structurally complex targets such as membrane proteins, have been used by over 400 companies, and are published in over 300 peer-reviewed publications.

“We have a long-standing partnership with Integral Molecular, having distributed their Lipoparticle products for more than 8 years,” said Tetsuya Ikeda, President and CEO of Funakoshi. “We are pleased to extend our offerings to include Integral Molecular’s unique antibody characterization services.”

Off-target antibody binding can result in severe adverse events, especially when antibodies are used to direct cell killing, as with CAR-T therapeutics. The Membrane Proteome Array (MPA) was developed by Integral Molecular to detect binding of antibodies, cells, and other biologics to 6,000 native proteins, comprising 94% of the human membrane proteome.

Epitope data support antibody patents by demonstrating antibody novelty, differentiating from prior art, and supporting written description requirements. Integral Molecular’s Epitope Mapping platform provides mapping at single amino acid resolution using comprehensive mutagenesis and is >95% successful even when working with complex targets and conformational epitopes.

About Integral Molecular

Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.

About Funakoshi

Funakoshi Co., Ltd. (www.funakoshi.co.jp) is the leader in distributing reagents and instruments for researchers in the life science fields. Their corporate mission is to provide high quality products to a broad range of customers throughout their domestic and international network.

Integral Molecular Webinar & User Group Towards IND: Specificity Profiling of Antibody Therapies Using the Membrane Proteome Array

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Watch video

Mistargeted therapies can cause serious side effects and clinical failures. Learn about using the Membrane Proteome Array to identify off-target reactivities of antibody and cell therapies and the importance of these data for lead selection and regulatory submissions.

Webinar Agenda

  • Re-examine the long-held assumption that antibodies are exquisitely specific
  • Learn what to do next if your molecule shows detectable off-target binding
  • Discover how Membrane Proteome Array specificity data is used to satisfy regulatory requirements

We share your commitment to developing therapeutics for difficult-to-treat diseases. With 20 years of experience, our research team is dedicated to helping programs like yours succeed.

 

Context Therapeutics and Integral Molecular Enter Collaboration and License Deal for Novel Claudin 6 Antibodies for Gynecologic Cancer Therapeutic Program

Context Partnership

PHILADELPHIA, PA—APRIL 8, 2021—Context Therapeutics, a clinical-stage women’s oncology company developing advanced small molecule and immunotherapy treatments to transform care for hormone-driven breast and gynecological cancers, and Integral Molecular, the leader in discovering antibodies against multipass membrane proteins, today announced a research collaboration and licensing agreement for the development of an anti-claudin 6 (CLDN6) bispecific monoclonal antibody (BsMAb) for gynecologic cancer therapy.

CLDN6 is a membrane protein expressed in multiple cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, lung and gastric cancers. The protein is absent from healthy adult tissues and high levels in patient tumors are correlated with poor prognosis.

Under the terms of the agreement, Integral Molecular and Context will develop CLDN6 bispecific antibodies that trigger the activation of T cells and eliminate cancer cells displaying CLND6. Context will conduct preclinical and all clinical development, as well as regulatory and commercial activities through exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the novel CLDN6 candidates. Integral Molecular will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and high-single-digit to low-double-digit percent royalties on net sales. IND-enabling studies of the first BsMAb candidate are expected to commence in 2022, with advancement to clinical stage anticipated in 2023.

“The structural complexity of CLDN6 and its similarity to proteins expressed on healthy tissue have previously limited its exploitation for targeted oncology therapies,” said Martin Lehr, chief executive officer of Context. “By combining Integral Molecular’s expertise in the field of antibody discovery and Context’s experience developing therapies for women’s cancers, we hope to develop a best-in-class targeted therapeutic for CLDN6-positive gynecologic tumors.”

To overcome the challenges associated with antibody discovery against CLND6, Integral Molecular employed its MPS antibody discovery platform designed to isolate antibodies against the most challenging membrane protein targets.

“Our CLDN6 monoclonal antibody exhibits best-in-class target selectivity,” said Benjamin Doranz, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Integral Molecular. “There is a strong need for therapies that provide more specific and less toxic treatments for gynecologic cancers, and we look forward to our partnership with Context that will enable better treatments for women.”

About Context Therapeutics®

Context Therapeutics LLC is a women’s oncology company developing advanced small molecule and immunotherapy treatments to transform care for hormone-driven breast and gynecological cancers. The company’s robust clinical program for lead candidate onapristone extended release (ONA-XR) comprises four ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials in hormone-driven breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, as well as a window of opportunity trial in breast cancer. ONA-XR is a novel, first-in-class complete antagonist of the progesterone receptor, a key unchecked mechanism in hormone-driven women’s cancers. Also nearing the clinic is a cutting-edge bispecific antibody targeting Claudin 6, a potential revolutionary immunotherapy for gynecological cancers. Context is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit www.contexttherapeutics.com.

About Integral Molecular

Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue virus.

Integral Molecular Enables Rapid Resistance Testing of Vaccines and Drugs Against Emerging Coronavirus Variants

PHILADELPHIA — In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Integral Molecular has adapted its SARS-CoV-2 reporter virus particle (RVP) technology to reflect emerging virus variants, enabling safe laboratory testing for viral resistance to vaccines and drugs. The expanded RVP collection encompasses notable variants identified in the UK, South Africa, Japan, Brazil and other countries, as well as over 1,200 other mutants. 

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have anticipated the emergence of viral variants and have been concerned about the potential development of resistant strains,” said Kyle Doolan, PhD, Senior Project Leader for molecular biology at Integral Molecular. “To stay ahead of the virus, we developed a rapidly adaptable platform to create RVP variants. Through continuous vigilance we can bring these updated tools to the scientific community on an almost weekly basis.”

SARS-CoV-2 RVPs contain the coronavirus spike protein, the primary target of the human immune response, and carry a non-infectious genome that produces an easily measured fluorescent or light emitting signal upon cellular infection. Integral Molecular has over a decade of experience producing large-scale batches of quality-controlled RVPs which are being used as critical reagents in vaccine clinical trials.

Integral Molecular’s scientific team will be discussing the use of SARS-CoV-2 RVP variants for resistance testing on February 10, 2021. Partners interested in using SARS-CoV-2 RVPs for their research or diagnostic assays should contact Integral Molecular.

About Integral Molecular

Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue.

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Integral Molecular Announces Best-in-Class Antibodies Against Complex Oncology Target Claudin 18.2

PHILADELPHIA – Integral Molecular, the leader in discovering antibodies against multipass membrane proteins, announces fully optimized, high-affinity lead monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against Claudin 18.2 (CLDN18.2), a structurally complex oncology target overexpressed on numerous solid tumors. The CLDN18.2 antibodies discovered using the company’s MPS antibody discovery platform are ready to progress towards preclinical studies and are completely humanized, unlike the Phase 3 clinical benchmark.

“The structural complexity of CLDN18.2 and the widespread expression of closely related family members has made discovery of highly specific antibodies against CLDN18.2 challenging,” said Ross Chambers, VP of Antibody Discovery. “Our exquisitely specific, picomolar affinity lead candidates show stronger binding than the most advanced clinical antibody and are a testament to the ability of our platform to yield antibodies against difficult targets.”

Integral Molecular’s MPS platform combines multiple proprietary technologies that enable antibody discovery against otherwise intractable targets. This includes Lipoparticles to present complex antigens for immunization and phage panning, immunization of divergent species and Humanized Chicken Antibody Technology (hCAT), which delivers simultaneous humanization and affinity maturation.

Integral Molecular showcased its CLDN18.2 MAbs at the virtual PEGS Europe (Protein & Antibody Engineering Summit) earlier this month. CLDN18.2 is expressed in multiple cancers, including lung, pancreatic and esophageal cancers, but shows limited expression in healthy adult tissue. The company is currently isolating MAbs against dozens of membrane protein targets for internal and external discovery partners.

About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue virus.

Integral Molecular Partners with China’s Leading Preclinical CRO JOINN for Comprehensive Specificity Testing of Antibodies and CAR-T Therapeutics

PHILADELPHIA – JOINN Laboratories, China’s leading preclinical contract research organization (CRO), has partnered with Integral Molecular to provide researchers in China with rapid antibody specificity testing against the entire human membrane proteome using Integral Molecular’s Membrane Proteome Array (MPA) technology. The ability to select lead candidates with high specificity will reduce safety liabilities prior to clinical development of therapeutic antibodies and CAR-T cancer treatments.

Off-target binding of antibodies can result in severe or life-threatening adverse events, especially when antibody binding is used to direct cell killing, as with CAR-T cell therapeutics. Specificity testing using Integral Molecular’s MPA is now routinely included in investigational new drug (IND) applications submitted to regulatory agencies.

“At JOINN, we provide preclinical research services for most of the CAR-T cell therapeutics being developed in China,” said Mr. Leon (Jingliang) Gu, EMT & VP of JOINN Laboratories. “We understand the possible consequences of misdirected cell killing and why MPA data represents a valuable component of preclinical packages submitted to the U.S. FDA and the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in China.”

The MPA antibody specificity profiling service was developed by Integral Molecular as a comprehensive approach to detect binding of antibodies, cells, and other biologics to membrane protein targets for early de-risking of drug development. The MPA is the largest library of human membrane proteins, covering 94% of the membrane proteome and includes nearly all G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, and transporters expressed in live cells.

About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue virus.

About JOINN Laboratories
JOINN Laboratories is the pioneer of commercial GLP laboratories in China and was the first preclinical CRO to be inspected by the U.S. FDA for GLP compliance in China. JOINN has an excellent track record spanning over two decades in efficacy studies and IND enabling GLP toxicology studies and is the oldest privately-owned non-clinical safety evaluation institute.