What Are Monoclonal Antibodies?
Antibodies are Y-shaped molecules that form one of the primary components of immunity in humans and other species. In the body many different naturally-occurring antibodies are present together as a complex mixture in the bloodstream. A monoclonal antibody is a single molecular form of an antibody that can be administered to patients as a purified therapeutic protein. Monoclonal antibodies can be selected or designed to bind with very high specificity and affinity to a target (such as a viral or bacterial protein). Once they bind, they may directly neutralize the biological function of the target or recruit other parts of the immune system to destroy the target.
Disabling Bacteria and Viruses
Our approach to antibody therapy employs a combination of multiple monoclonal antibodies to either achieve greater efficacy or to provide broad coverage across pathogenic strains. Greater efficacy is achieved by blocking the biological activities of either bacteria or viruses, or alternatively recruiting other parts of the immune system to destroy the pathogenic target. Broad coverage across pathogenic strains can be achieved by combining multiple antibodies to ensure that all pathogenic strains are treated. In all cases we accomplish these goals by identifying monoclonal antibodies that target conserved regions of the virus or bacteria so that resistance-causing mutations cannot be generated without compromising the viability of the pathogen.
Our antibodies are isolated either directly from human blood samples or generated by genetic engineering using in vitro libraries or other available technologies, thereby enabling the screening of billions of human antibodies with different binding sites. Once the best monoclonal antibodies are isolated, we use protein engineering techniques to optimize important antibody attributes such as pharmacokinetic profile, effector function engagement, antibody format (such as Fabs, bispecifics, etc), and manufacturing efficiency.