Therapeutic antibody development

Published on September 29, 2022   18 min

Other Talks in the Series: Periodic Reports: Advances in Clinical Interventions and Research Platforms

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Hello, I'm Katja Hanack, Professor of Immunotechnology at the University of Potsdam in Germany. Today I'm going to talk about antibody discovery, especially, therapeutic antibody development.
Within the next minutes, I would like to talk about the main questions, what are therapeutic antibodies? What does it mean to generate therapeutic antibodies? How is the generation process done in general? Also, what are the challenges when using these antibodies as a therapeutic treatment?
What is meant by the term therapeutic antibodies? Antibodies in general are induced in vivo as part of our adaptive immune response and after infection with pathogens, so-called antigen-presenting cells are processing and presenting part of the pathogen to T and B cells. This induces an activation cascade where T cells are differentiated into effector and helper cells secreting cytokines which could act in different ways. For antibody generation, the immune response is based on two important signals. One signal is the induction of T helper cells, which secrete B cells and cytokines, such as IL-4, IL-5, or 13. The B cell is just recognizing the pathogen with the corresponding B cell receptor on the cell surface. A third situation is present. The B cell gets a specific activation signal to start with the maturation and release of the B cell receptor, and the soluble B cell receptor is called an antibody, and is part of the humoral immune response. Antibodies are highly specific for their corresponding antigen and are therefore of high interest for research, diagnostics, and therapeutic applications. The spectrum of using antibodies is manyfold. In general, it is possible to induce specific antibodies against all given structures; on cells, bacteria, viruses, and also again, on soluble components, such as proteins, hormones, toxins or nucleic acids. These variable properties allow mammalians to possess possess a highly sophisticated and adaptable system to react against all types of pathogens and disease conditions. The body is producing a diverse antibody repertoire against different diseases and protects the body against pathogens. To use this capability for the generation of customized antibody formats in vitro is, of course, of high interest for biomedical applications.