John McCafferty

Chief Executive Officer
IONTAS Pharmaceuticals
John McCafferty
John McCafferty was one of the founders of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and published the first paper/patent describing antibody phage display. The technology he invented has proved to be robust and has gone on to widespread use in commercial/academic groups world-wide. CAT developed the anti-TNF antibody that became HUMIRA, currently the world’s biggest selling drug. After returning to academia (Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge) John formed IONTAS, an innovative biotechnology company using phage display to develop novel antibody therapeutics. In this period John has also developed a technology allowing the construction of very large mammalian display libraries permitting the direct discovery of high affinity antibodies with optimal biophysical properties. He has also led the development of a novel molecular fusion format (KnotBodyTM) wherein naturally occurring, venom-derived cysteine-rich peptides (knottins) are inserted into peripheral CDR loops of an antibody. The technology has already been used to generated Knotbody blockers to 3 different ion channel targets.

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