A multipurpose precision tool
Antibodies are large proteins comprising two regions: a variable and a constant region.
These two parts have different functions. The variable part can recognize and specifically bind to some targets, then called antigens (cell receptor, circulating proteins…).
The constant region has an effector function: it can block, destroy or activate the target.
From antibodies to monoclonal antibodies (mAb)
Used as early as the late 19th century in the form of antibody mixtures resulting from serums and plasma, antibodies became key therapeutic drugs in the 21st century thanks to advances in biotechnology. These technologies are used to grow cells to make them express certain proteins, something that conventional chemistry cannot achieve, since proteins possess extremely complex structures. These cells are hence transformed into real biological factories. These technologies have made it possible to develop increasingly complex proteins (growth hormones, insulin, interferon, then antibodies and improved proteins). Improvements to these proteins have been successive: antibodies, for instance, were typically produced in rodents. These antibodies are now fully-human or humanized by replacing mouse sequences with human sequences by means of genetic engineering. In this way, the side effects associated with their use can be minimized while optimizing their specific action.
Depending on the targeted antigen, the antibody can be designed to perform various actions. For instance, Rituxan® kills the cell carrying the cancer marker in the lymphoma. In the case of several solid cancers, Avastin® binds blood vessels growth factor to prevent the blood vessels from growing and irrigating the developing tumor mass. Anti-TNF antibodies, such as Humira® or Remicade® which are used to treat chronic inflammatory pathologies like rheumatoid arthritis, recognize a pro-inflammatory molecule and neutralize it.
Innate Pharma develops two types of antibodies: immunomodulating and cytotoxic antibodies
Immunomodulatory antibodies in cancer
Antibody-drug congugates (ADC) in cancer
Innate Pharma has developed a proprietary conjugation technology (ADC) antibodies combined with toxins otherwise known as antibody drug conjugates.