Conservation of Oncofetal Antigens on Human Embryonic Stem Cells Enables Discovery of Monoclonal Antibodies Against Cancer

Team Photo for Scientific Reports 2018 8: 11608
From left: Dr Yang Yuansheng, Jayanthi Padmanabhan, Dr Vanessa Ding, Dr Tan Heng Liang, Dr Bi Xuezhi, Angela Chin, Zhang Lu, Ally Lau, Fong Wey Jia, Dr Andre Choo


Tan Heng Liang, Charlene Yong, Tan Bao Zhu, Fong Wey Jia, Jayanthi Padmanabhan, Angela Chin, Vanessa Ding, Ally Lau, Zheng Lu, Bi Xuezhi, Yang Yuansheng, Andre Choo

Bioprocessing Technology Institute, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

Published in Scientific Reports 2018 8: 11608 (Online Version)



Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are used as targeted therapies against cancers. These mAbs kill cancer cells via various mechanisms of actions. In this study, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) was used as the immunogen to generate a panel of antibodies. From this panel of mAbs, A19 was found to bind both hESC and various cancer cell lines. The antigen target of A19 was identified as Erbb-2 and glycan analysis showed that A19 binds to a N-glycan epitope on the antigen. A19 was elucidated to be internalized following binding to Erbb-2 hence was developed as an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). Using ADC as the mechanism of action, A19 was able to kill cancer cells in vitro and delayed the onset of tumour formation in mice xenograft model. When compared to Herceptin, A19 binds to different isoforms of Erbb-2 and does not compete with Herceptin for the same epitope. Hence, A19 has the potential to be developed as an alternative targeted therapeutic agent for cancers expressing Erbb-2.