On 26th September, Immundnz celebrated the official opening of their laboratory at Alderley Park with a bespoke symposium. Several renowned speakers from academic and industrial backgrounds, from both the UK and the EU took to the stage to present. The talks were centred around immunogenicity of drugs, novel in vitro human models and the scope of making drug studies more translational in preclinical research. Dr. Masih Alam of Immundnz presented on the spectrum of immunogenicity and how the drug industry is currently falling short of defining this term, and analysing the comprehensive immunogenicity of drugs. His talk emphasised the need to avoid TeGenero-like scenarios and be better prepared rather than waiting for dangerous and disastrous outcomes to happen in the clinical phase. He discussed how generating more critical information in drug immune safety in the preclinical phase could be essential in the success of a drug. Following the seminars, Ned Wakeman, Director, BioHub at Alderley Park, cut the red ribbon in the presence of the guests and the Immundnz co-directors and co-founders, Dr. Masih Alam and Dr. Robert-Jan Lamers. Also present among the hosts were, Dr. Rawshan Choudhury, Principal Scientist and Protein Specialist, Amy Lawrence, Experimental Officer, and Joana Silva, PhD student.

Immundnz, the ‘Immune Response Company’, is a newly established CRO with a laboratory capacity for cell cultures and various cellular assays.  The company works in characterisation of cells and cell fluid and offers specialised support in immunology and cell culture based in vitro research, providing a wide range of standard and custom-made assays to biopharmaceutical researchers and professionals. Cell cultures, immunologic assays, cellular and molecular assays, flow cytometry, histology, microscopy and mass spectrometry are amongst their core technologies. Immundnz has opened its laboratory to work with early phase discoveries as well as other CROs. Notably, Immundnz offers solutions that require ‘immune modelling’ and laboratory based experimental testing of the model. Their immunology work is based on contemporary immune response model and findings.

The team at Immundnz is highly experienced in mammalian cell cultures and offers cell culture preparation, growth and analysis to internal (groups within Alderley Park) as well as external clients. They develop 2D cell cultures and are currently working on making 3D tissue models (including organoids) and 3D microfluidic culture plates adaptable to study the behaviour of immune cells in response to drug compounds in in vitro systems.

Tissue damage study is the prime focus of Immundnz as it is the central driver of an immune response whether the damage is an outcome of a drug molecule or a pathogen or endogenous metabolites. Understanding this feature of a drug through proper immune modelling is of great importance in predicting its immunogenicity and secondary pathogenesis.

Immundnz received a 2-year R&D project funding from Eurostars and Innovate UK. The award worth €587,800 was approved in June 2016.

For more information, meet Immundnz at their lab in No. 19 or visit their website

Katie Droogan