The NIBR Biologics Center (NBC) focuses on the discovery of biologics, primarily antibodies and protein drugs, as well as siRNA-based drugs, and is responsible for generating new biotherapeutics within NIBR. As a class of medicine, protein biologics are a powerful tool that can often treat diseases that cannot be treated with traditional approaches.

Antibody and protein drugs are produced using recombinant DNA technology. Therapeutic antibodies are similar to those made by the human immune system, but are designed in the laboratory to specifically bind to disease targets in the body.

Therapeutic proteins are often identical or similar to naturally occurring proteins in the body, but they are used to replace, augment, or inhibit some function related to diseases. In NBC, a wide range of modern technologies are developed and applied to discover, optimize and modify proteins for biotherapeutic use in all NIBR disease areas.


RNAi therapeutics offer a new (modal) opportunity to treat disease and potentially can target any protein in a cell by down regulating its mRNA. By bringing together multidisciplinary teams, NBC is responsible for generating new biotherapeutics for Novartis.


Selected publications

The rough endoplasmatic reticulum is a central nucleation site of siRNA-mediated RNA silencing. Stalder L, Heusermann W, Sokol L, Trojer D, Wirz J, Hean J, Fritzsche A, Aeschimann F, Pfanzagl V, Basselet P, Weiler J, Hintersteiner M, Morrissey DV, Meisner-Kober NC. EMBO J. 2013 Apr 17;32(8):1115-27.

Highly Complementary Target RNAs Promote Release of Guide RNAs from Human Argonaute2. De N, Young L, Lau PW, Meisner NC, Morrissey DV, MacRae IJ. Mol Cell. 2013 May 9;50(3):344-55.

Whole-body scanning PCR; a highly sensitive method to study the biodistribution of mRNAs, noncoding RNAs and therapeutic oligonucleotides. Boos JA, Kirk DW, Piccolotto ML, Zuercher W, Gfeller S, Neuner P, Dattler A, Wishart WL, Von Arx F, Beverly M, Christensen J, Litherland K, van de Kerkhof E, Swart PJ, Faller T, Beyerbach A, Morrissey D, Hunziker J, Beuvink I. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Aug; 41(15).