Science and medicine

Therapeutic Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are exciting molecules having made a dramatic transformation from scientific tools to powerful human therapeutics. Having been in the doldrums for almost three decades, they are now living up to their promise as therapeutic drugs. At present, more than 30 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are marketed in the United States and Europe in a variety of indications.

Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies use nature’s design of stable and exquisitely specific immunoglobulin molecules to target molecules of interest. Depending on the desired therapeutic outcome, biological properties are engineered into monoclonal antibody candidates to ensure optimal clinical efficacy and safety.

Immunogenicity is a major limitation of therapy with certain antibodies and proteins. A major driver for immunogenicity is the presence of human T-cell epitopes within the protein sequence which can activate helper T-cells resulting in the sustained production of antibodies and neutralization of the therapeutic effect. Deimmunization is a technology for locating and removal of T-cell epitopes through the combined use of immunological and molecular biology techniques. FFP102/104 is a deimmunized therapeutic monoclonal antibody directed against human CD40.