Jan Terje Andersen, professor of biomedical innovation in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oslo and research group leader in the Department of Immunology at the Oslo University Hospital, has spent nearly two decades studying neonatal Fc receptors (FcRns) and their interactions with prominent blood proteins albumin and IgG. He sits down with moderator Nimish Gera, vice president of biologics at Mythic Therapeutics, to discuss the unique properties of FcRn and how it can be leveraged for novel therapeutic development. Additionally, Andersen details the mechanics of FcRn binding, why it prolongs albumin and IgG half-lives, and notable FcRn technological advancements and research findings in animal and human models. He also talks about engineering blood proteins for optimal function and launching his new venture, Authera, the preclinical stage biotech company using an FcRn-centered platform to study the receptor’s versatility across multiple cell types.
Jan Terje Andersen, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Innovation, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oslo and Immunology Research Group Leader, Oslo University Hospital
Jan Terje Andersen is a professor of biomedical innovation in the Department of Pharmacology and medical faculty member at the University of Oslo. He is also a research group leader in the Department of Immunology at the Oslo University Hospital. Andersen heads the Laboratory of Adaptive Immunity and Homeostasis, studying the cellular processes and molecular interplay underlying the functions of the two most abundant proteins in blood: albumin and IgG.
By combining structural and biophysical approaches with cellular and in vivo studies, the laboratory uses this in-depth knowledge to design novel albumin and antibody molecules with improved functions. The highly innovative laboratory houses a research group for the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital with the most registered innovations at the technology transfer office, Inven2. The laboratory is extensively collaborating with biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Andersen’s lab is also located in Sharelab, an incubator for start-up companies in the Oslo Science Park. Andersen has obtained the Fridtjof Nansen Prize for Early Career Achievements, won the Oslo University Hospital Early Career Award, and is an alum member of the Young Academy of Norway.
Nimish Gera, Ph.D., Vice President of Biologics, Mythic Therapeutics
Nimish Gera is the vice president of biologics at Mythic Therapeutics overseeing antibody discovery, engineering, optimization, and cell-based screening technologies to generate antibody-drug conjugates. Nimish’s broad experience in biotech encompasses various modalities (monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, protein-fusions, and antibody-drug conjugates) and therapeutic areas (oncology, immuno-oncology, autoimmune, and rare disease). Prior to Mythic, Nimish served as a project leader at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he led and managed diverse cross-functional project teams to lead two antibody discovery programs into development. Prior to Alexion, Nimish helped establish discovery sciences functionality at Oncobiologics (now Outlook Therapeutics) and identified multiple lead candidates for the company’s platform. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular engineering with a minor in biotechnology at North Carolina State University and a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.