Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra

Chief Business Officer, Antibody Expert

Dr. Arne Skerra is Full Professor at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where he heads the Institute of Biological Chemistry. He holds a Diplom degree in Chemistry from the Technical University of Darmstadt and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

After post-doctoral studies at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and a group leader position at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt/Main, he became Associate Professor for Protein Chemistry at the TU Darmstadt. In 1998, he moved to TU Munich, where he was appointed to the Chair of Biological Chemistry at the Life Science Campus Weihenstephan. Arne Skerra started his scientific career in the field of protein engineering where he pioneered the biosynthesis of functional antibody fragments in E. coli.

Since then, he made several other contributions to this area, including the development of the Strep-tag technology for the purification of recombinant proteins. Currently, his main field of research is the design and structural analysis of novel proteins. One focus is the functional engineering of lipocalin proteins, which laid the basis for ‘Anticalin’ biopharmaceuticals. This clinical stage technology is commercialized by Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a US/German biotech company (NASDAQ: PIRS) which he founded in 2001. More recently, he became interested in improving the pharmacological properties of therapeutic proteins and peptides and extending their plasma half-life, which led to the invention of 'PASylation' technology. In 2009 he founded the biotech company XL-protein GmbH, Freising, Germany, to further develop and exploit this technology.