OKC's Pure MHC has connection to BIO sponsorPublished: Friday, June 8, 2018 By: Jim Stafford Source: The Oklahoman
BOSTON — Every one of the more than 16,500 attendees at the BIO 2018 International Convention received a backpack prominently adorned with the name “AbbVie” on the front.
AbbVie is a major player in the biopharmaceutical industry with more than 50 compounds in clinical development, across significant areas of health care such as oncology, immunology, neuroscience and virology.
For one Oklahoman among in the OKBio group here this week, the AbbVie name has a special connection. William Hildebrand, Ph.D., a University of Oklahoma microbiology and immunology professor, is founder and chief scientist at Oklahoma City's Pure MHC, LLC.
Hildebrand's company signed a major licensing deal with AbbVie in 2017. Pure MHC is a platform technology based on technology developed in Hildebrand's laboratory and licensed from OU.
Funded and managed by Austin, Texas-based Emergent Technologies, Pure MHC has expertise in disease-specific target identification and validation as well as drug development for cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases, and allergy.
“We've been working to discover targets on unhealthy cells for a long time — cancer cells and virus-infected cells,” Hildebrand said. “So we demonstrated that the targets we identified can be used to treat people with melanoma with a melanoma vaccine. AbbVie recognized the quality and value of our data and our targets. So AbbVie licensed pure MHC for four cancer indications.”