Fully human antibodies for rapid clinical development
WINNER: KTP Associate: Leona McGirr
University: Queen’s University Belfast
Company: Fusion Antibodies
The Project: The need to better understand antibodies has been highlighted as a result of Covid-19. This KTP between Fusion Antibodies and Queen’s University Belfast focuses on creating an innovative software solution for the design of antibody libraries.
KTP Associate, Leona McGirr (PhD Physical Chemistry) led the KTP project for Fusion Antibodies, supporting the company’s service offering in antibody engineering; transforming capabilities and competitiveness in the antibody discovery space and helping biotechnology and pharmaceutical organisations speed up the development of the best antibodies possible. Ultimately, this will help these organisations accelerate the provision of treatments that improve the lives of patients throughout the world.
Leona McGirr created and now leads a major new R&D project (Rapid Antibody Maturation Programme, RAMP) within the company. Amongst her key achievements were:
– Established scientific lab offering new service to customers.
– Vision, drive and ambition led this project far beyond expectation, with commercialisation of RAMP ahead of
schedule, clients in place and patent pending.
– Ability to anticipate market need has led to proprietary highly desirable product with very positive sales
– Exceptional organisational and project management skills have delivered outputs beyond the scope of the original plan.
– Built a team of scientists and manages and mentors two junior scientists.
– Creation of the affinity maturation platform developed through this KTP rivals the industry’s current standard process.
– Represents company at international conferences.
– Agile and adaptable, an excellent presenter, team leader, scientist and project manager. Leona is seen as a
respected future leader and innovator by all at Fusion Antibodies.
Winners of this category will be announced in advance of the KTP Virtual Awards Ceremony which is at 4-5pm on Wednesday 9 September. Join us in our virtual world to celebrate all the winners – register here.
See below for a profile of each of the 18 finalists in the Future Innovator category of this year’s KTP Best of the Best Awards:
Muddasar Anwar Delivering innovation for Sustainable Drainage System to prevent flooding.
Blessing Mbipom Creating online learning for GPs.
Laurence Foster: Innovations to “print” structures, transforming house building.
Declan Bryans: Creating greener energy with innovations in flow batteries.
Elle Perschke: Applying B2C methodologies to launch a new product within a B2B company.
Mark Gilmore: Development of new class of greener ionic liquid, with multiple potential applications.
Khai Nguyen: Inventing a new silicone composite for consumer fixing brand, Sugru.
Swapnil Khadke: Creating new liposome formulations for application in drug delivery
Leona McGirr: Creating an Antibody Library for fully human antibodies.
Dan Hicks: Developing a new design and testing process for electric trails bikes.
Dmitry Bogachov: Advancing Materials Science for Anilox technology.
Andrew Grounds: Transforming business models for Social Enterprise.
Lyndsey McKirdy: Enhancing data science capability at Aggreko.
Jack Tallant: Transforming reporting and delivery of Charity’s activities.
Xi Liu: Using AI to develop fraud detection and prevention services for law firm.
Alex Komninos: Transforming spreadsheets in to cognitive models at IBM
Harvey Kangley: Delivering exceptional NPD for rail electrification
George Harris: Developing advanced engineering for intruder detection systems.
The Future Innovator category of the KTP Awards is supported by Ashorne Hill – a specialist training company which runs training programmes for all KTP Associates.
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