Using state-of-the-art protein engineering tools such as phage display and site-specific conjugation methods, we aim to develop novel antibody-based reagents for research and therapy.
Antibodies are ubiquitous in research as precise affinity reagents. They allow researchers to label, capture, or manipulate biomolecules in complex biological mixtures. Consequently, antibody-based reagents are found in many methods, from ELISA screening to fluorescence microscopy. More recently, antibodies have also found their way into therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Today, biologics in general and antibodies in particular are an important class of drugs in targeted and personalized therapy.
New techniques in research and the desire for advanced therapeutics have led to an increased demand for antibody-based reagents beyond traditional immunoglobulins. Development of antibodies for specific needs is conceivable in many ways; using fragments of the entire IgG molecule, altering binding properties, creating multispecific antibodies, or improving antibodies by attaching chemicals and biomolecules are just a few examples. However, a major challenge remains the availability of appropriate tools and methods to implement such concepts.
To address this challenge, we will use i) advanced DNA synthesis and mutagenesis to build large variant libraries, ii) in vitro molecular evolution and screening to select variants with desired properties, and iii) site-specific conjugation to “glue on” additional functional groups, from small fluorophores to large biomolecules such as DNA. Combining these techniques, we can modify, improve, and complement antibodies for a variety of tasks.