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IONTAS announces Mammalian Display licensing agreement with Bristol Myers Squib

IONTAS’ mammalian display technology facilitates the identification of high affinity developable full-length antibody libraries in the context of mammalian cells

Cambridge, UK – 13 October 2020 – IONTAS Limited (IONTAS), an innovative biotechnology company focused on antibody discovery and cutting-edge technology development, today announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company regarding the Company’s proprietary mammalian display.

Under the terms of this agreement, IONTAS will receive an upfront payment for accessing the technology platform and will work with Bristol Myers Squibb in establishing the platform within its facilities. Additional near-term payments include maintenance fees, the achievement of development milestones, and eventual royalty payments on all antibodies derived from the platform.

IONTAS’ proprietary mammalian display technology enables large libraries of full-length antibodies to be expressed on the surface of mammalian cells, in a way that allows selection for optimal binding properties and optimal biophysical properties. These benefits can significantly reduce the risk of antibodies failing during the expensive manufacturing stages. Effectively the platform allows the right lead antibodies to be selected early in the discovery process, reducing the requirement for any potential costly re-engineering to correct developability issues.

John McCafferty, Chief Scientific Officer of IONTAS and inventor of the platform, commented: “We are excited to have Bristol Myers Squibb, one of the global leading biopharmaceutical companies, as our licensing partner.  Our mammalian display system not only allows the screening of tens of millions of clones directly for binding but also has a unique advantage to detect developability issues. This allows us to ’fix’ problematic antibodies and identify them during early drug discovery. This can save the industry significant time and money by generating developable products faster.


Rita Viz, Business Development will be attending this year’s BIO Europe Virtual Partnering event, 26 – 29 Oct. If you would like to learn more about our Mammalian Display technology please contact via the Partnering system or send an email to


IONTAS was recently integrated in the FairJourney Group, financed by Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP (GHO), the European specialist investor in healthcare. IONTAS offers services for antibody discovery using Phage Display Technology and Mammalian Display. The innovative Mammalian Display platform enables full-length antibodies to be expressed in the context of a mammalian cell, thereby allowing selection based on function, stability, expression and developability.

About Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

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FairJourney Biologics is a leading biologics CRO, providing integrated services across antibody discovery, engineering and production to global biopharma. The Company’s significant expertise in phage display technology, combined with a diverse approach to generating both immune and naïve antibody libraries have contributed to a market leading 99%+ project success rate.

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