The Stem Cell Group is focused on the discovery of novel monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and elucidating key signaling pathways regulating stem cell fates. Notably, results obtained from in vitro studies have shown that these mAbs specifically bind and kill cancer cells of the breast, ovarian, kidney, colorectal and liver tumour types. At present, we are evaluating these candidate mAbs for their in vivo efficacy in tumour xenograft models. Besides therapeutic applications, our mAbs hold potential in cell therapy, disease diagnostics and in vivo imaging.
We have also established an Antibody Discovery Platform (ADP) which facilitates the generation of novel cytotoxic mAbs toward cell surface markers on stem cells and cancer cells. This leveraged on the expertise previously developed for a panel of cytotoxic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) toward human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for the purpose of eliminating residual teratoma-forming PSCs after differentiation.
Keeping in mind that an antibody is useful in research and industry when it can be efficiently produced in large quantities, other capabilities within BTI, such as the Animal Cell Technology (ACT) and Downstream Processing (DP) groups, have proven invaluable in aiding us with several technologies which include cell enrichment and bioprocessing of our mAbs. Furthermore, characterization of antigen targets is achieved with a variety of proteomics and glycomics tools, and expertise provided by the Analytics group.
The overarching goal of our studies is thus two-fold: to develop and characterize novel cytotoxic mAbs which recognize surface antigens for eliminating stem cells and cancer cells in the clinical setting, and to elucidate stem cell regulation as well as disease biology at the molecular level. We are hopeful that our active ongoing collaborations with fellow academics, clinicians, as well as several industry players, would enable the smooth transition of these mAbs toward future clinical applications.