Company Overview

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New technologies to generate an advanced human monoclonal antibody resource

Wouldn’t it be great to have “magic bullets” of exquisite specificity, to destroy any disease-causing target?

Paul Ehrlich thought that antibodies might be the answer, but how to isolate the right ones from the myriads that human beings can make? Georges Köhler, in his twenties, did just that in mice. Right after his invention of the hybridoma technique, he held a seminar at the Basel Institute for Immunology. At the end of his talk, Niels Jerne, the director of the institute, said: “This is great work; the only downside of it is that you did not do it here.” Shortly after the publication of his paper, Köhler rejoined the Basel Institute. Hoffmann-La Roche, which sponsored the Basel Institute, soon established an enthusiastic monoclonal antibody group under the direction of Ruggero Ceppellini, and later of Theo Staehelin. Monoclonal antibodies took off immediately for use as diagnos­tics and laboratory reagents of exquisite specificity. Both basic and clinical scientists have been very happy with these tailor-made tools produced from a seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia.

“This is great work; the only downside of it is that you did not do it here.” – Niels Jerne

Although Köhler also conceived of the monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics, the adaptation to this purpose was slow. This was distressing, mainly due to the choice of targets rather than to flaws in the technique or failure to grasp its importance. The technique worked best with mouse cells, but the mouse antibodies are rejected by humans. So, why not make mice produce human antibodies? Pioneer Nils Lonberg and others succeeded in generating such mice in the 1990s, but these mice had a limited (and expensive) antibody repertoire that was difficult for the biotech community to acquire. Over time, recombinant DNA techniques made genetic changes easier and more precise. Mice now had the full human antibody repertoire, but access to them was still out of reach for most companies and clinical scientists. At the same time, targets for antibody attack were being defined for cancer, autoimmune disease, and infectious disease.

If only we had an affordable human antibody mouse! That challenge brought the TRIANNI scientists together and they officially formed the company in 2010. By combining the latest DNA synthesis technology with recombinant DNA technology to “surgically” replace the mouse immunoglo­bulin exons with human ones, we kept the noncoding control sequences of mouse origin. Our mice make antibodies just like humans—a high-end solution for everyone eager to cure a disease with monoclonal antibodies.

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Board of Directors

Matthias Wabl, Ph.D.

TRIANNI, Inc.

Dr. Wabl was a cofounder of Sagres Discovery, Inc. (now Novartis), where he served as President and as Chair, Scientific Advisory Board. He has been a member of the NIH, Small Business Innovative Research Study Section and an advisor to numerous biotechnology companies and the FDA. He is also a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where he has been engaged in research on the generation of antibody diversity and the basis of autoimmunity for over 30 years. Dr. Wabl received his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin. He was a Member of the Basel Institute for Immunology and a Principal Investigator at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany.

Dianna DeVore, Ph.D.

Convergent Law Group, LLC

Dianna DeVore, Ph.D. is a partner at Convergent Law Group with almost 20 years experience in the life sciences. Dianna’s practice primarily focuses on patent portfolio development, licensing and due diligence activities. Dianna also provides support for post-grant proceedings and intellectual property litigation in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Dianna holds a B.A. in Biology and Art history from John Hopkins University, a Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She is a member of the California State Bar and is registered to practice before the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office.

Donald Gerson, Ph.D.

PnuVax Inc.

Dr. Gerson is a biophysicist and immunologist who has extensive experience in vaccine, monoclonal antibody and protein biopharmaceutical process development and manufacturing.  Most recently he was President of Celltrion in S. Korea, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of protein biopharmaceuticals, and he is currently CEO of PnuVax Incorporated, a developer and manufacturer of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and other protein biopharmaceuticals in Montreal, Canada

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Management Team

Matthias

Matthias Wabl, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO

Dr. Wabl was a cofounder of Sagres Discovery, Inc. (now Novartis), where he served as President and as Chair, Scientific Advisory Board. He has been a member of the NIH, Small Business Innovative Research Study Section and an advisor to numerous biotechnology companies and the FDA. He is also a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where he has been engaged in research on the generation of antibody diversity and the basis of autoimmunity for over 30 years. Dr. Wabl received his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin. He was a Member of the Basel Institute for Immunology and a Principal Investigator at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany

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Gloria Esposito, Ph.D., CTO

Dr. Esposito obtained her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. During this period she worked extensively in antibody engineering and on the development of therapeutic antibodies against viral infections. She completed her postdoctoral training in Cologne, Germany, and then held a position as Investigator. The major focus of her research was on lymphocyte development and antibody maturation. She moved from academia to the pharmaceutical company Organon, where she led an in vivo drug target validation group. At Taconic she established and led the Scientific Project Management and Sales Team with global responsibility for the Custom Model Generation portfolio.

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David Meininger, Ph.D., MBA, CBO

Dr. Meininger was previously Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing with Merck where he had global responsibility for biologics technologies as a member of the West Coast Innovation Hub. Prior to his transition to business development, he led Protein Science and managed biologic lead generation for immuno-oncology and other programs that progressed to development and onto market. At Amgen, he served on multiple teams that advanced programs from discovery through the clinic. Dr. Meininger completed his postdoc in Protein Engineering at Genentech, received his PhD from UCSD and his MBA from The University of Washington.

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Peter Burrows, Ph.D., Chief Scientist

Dr. Burrows received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and did postdoctoral research at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany. He then joined the UAB faculty and became Professor in the Department of Microbiology.  He has been studying the molecular and cellular biology of B cell development and function for more than 30 years and continues his research as Professor Emeritus. He has been Associate Editor of Autoimmunity and the Journal of Immunology, member of the NIH Immunology Fellowships and AREA Study Section, Scientific Advisor, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, Japan and a recipient of the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Tokyo University of Science President’s Award.

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Maria Wabl, M.D., CFO

Dr. Wabl has held positions at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen and at the Robert-Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany. She served as fundraiser, member of the board and president of several schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Wabl received her M.D. from the University of Tübingen, Germany.

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Associations

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Funding

TRIANNI, Inc is a privately funded organization. For information about investing, contact Andreas Wabl.

Andreas Wabl, VP of Investor Relations

Andreas Wabl was the Chairman of the Austrian Government Accountability Office, and a Member of the Austrian Parliament for 13 years. He also served as the Climate Commissioner of the Federal Chancellor of Austria. Mr. Wabl studied at the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia and is a licensed mediator.