Human Monoclonal Antibodies Platform


PI/Head: Cheng-I WANG, Ph.D

The Human Monoclonal Antibodies Platform at SIgN was established to discover, engineer, and develop human therapeutic antibodies for unmet medical needs.

Background
Antibodies represent a relatively new class of therapeutic that has shown great success in treating devastating diseases in the field of cancer, inflammation and infection. To date, >30 antibodies have been approved for therapy and >240 antibodies are currently under clinical development. Antibodies elicit remarkable therapeutic efficacy due to their unmatched high affinity, high selectivity and low toxicity characteristics. In addition, antibodies function via unique mechanisms, such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), which are unachievable with small molecule drugs. These unique molecular characteristics make monoclonal antibodies the biggest biomedical and commercial success story in biotechnology history.

Technologies and Approach
Using state-of-the-art antibody technologies we have developed streamlined, high-throughput single B-cell PCR cloning technology to isolate natural disease-fighting antibodies directly from virus-infected patient blood samples. By this approach we have generated a large panel of neutralizing antibodies against dengue virus. We also use combinatorial phage display technology to discover antibodies against human disease antigens, including cytokines and tumor markers on cancer stem cells. Understanding the importance of the tumor microenvironment in cancer progression has also directed our focus to the manipulation of the immune cells surrounding cancerous tumors.  Now, we are developing a number of approaches to test the effects of antibody-directed depletion of tumor-promoting macrophages in cancer models.

The advanced antibody discovery/engineering technologies in our group form a core infrastructure component of the basic, translational and clinical research platform at SIgN. We actively pursue industrial collaboration to further develop our therapeutic antibody candidates. A number of our projects are currently under collaboration with various biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Figure 1: Bispecific monoclonal antibodies. The SIgN Antibody Platform designs, develops and engineers human antibodies, including bispecific monoclonal antibodies that can bind two different types of antigen at one time.