Lead discovery to develop new antibody treatments against pan-tumoral ideal antigens

Lead discovery to develop new antibody treatments against pan-tumoral ideal antigens

Monoclonal antibodies have become well-established as integral components of the multimodal treatment of various malignant diseases. To exploit the full therapeutic potential of monoclonal antibodies, the target structure should allow to discriminate between tumor cells and healthy cells, i.e. it has to be expressed exclusively on tumor cells. Exquisite cancer cell specificity of the target structure makes it possible to enter clinical development with the most potent antibody lead compound, since a high degree of tolerability can be expected.

The development of bi-specific formats represents an innovative approach to increase the cytotoxic potential of therapeutic antibodies. These antibody formats have the ability to simultaneously bind two different epitopes. If one epitope is expressed on tumor cells and the other is expressed on selected immune effector cells, the body's own immune cells are brought into close proximity of the tumor cell in a targeted fashion, thus greatly enhancing their tumor-targeted cytotoxic potential.

In this project, the partners Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG and BioNTech AG want to develop bi-specific antibodies against several new tumor-specific target structures. The goal of this project is to select a lead structure and validate its suitability for the clinical development as a bi-specific antibody against solid tumors with high unmet medical needs (‘proof-of-principle’). After the funding phase ends, this antibody lead structure is to be guided into clinical development, where ‘proof-of-concept’ is to be provided.

Moreover, as part of the project a new technology platform for the generation of function-optimized bi-specific antibody formats will be established. This will allow the development of a pipeline of improved antibodies against unique target structures which, due to their high tumor selectivity and cytotoxic potential, open up ideal curative options.

 

Keywords 

  • Cancer-specific antigens
  • Tumor-associated antigens
  • Unique targets
  • Immunotherapy
  • Therapeutic antibodies
  • Bi-specific antibodies

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