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Oct 18, 2007

Abbott Creates One Molecule with Two Antibody Functions

  • Abbott reports on the discovery of a technology that combines the function and specificity of two or more mAbs into one therapeutics molecule in Nature Biotechnology. These molecules, called dual-variable domain Ig (DVD-Ig™), will allow for development of individual drug candidates that target multiple disease-causing molecules, according to the Abbott.

    “Combining the specificity of two or more antibodies into one drug has been a significant challenge for researchers looking at next-generation biologic therapies,” points out Abbott scientists Chengbin Wu, Ph.D., and Tariq Ghayur, Ph.D., who designed the DVD-Ig molecules and led the research team. While other research programs have tried to combine two antibodies into one entity, the results have been limited by poor pharmacokinetics, stability, and manufacturing feasibility, according to Abbott.

    “Abbott’s approach is remarkably versatile and efficient in creating a single molecular entity with drug-like properties and the ability to target multiple disease mediators.” The company has completed technology validation on the DVD-Ig program and is currently confirming process development and manufacturing for the platform.

    Simultaneous blockage of multiple targets using DVD-Ig agents may increase efficacy in comparison to inhibition of a single target using a mAb. Abbott thus speculates that these molecules will be relevant to cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other complicated conditions in which multiple disease mediators are at play.

    Abbott says that its DVD-Ig approach is compatible with any antibody including humanized mAbs, fully human mAbs, and chimeric mAbs. They can potentially be extended beyond antibodies to receptor proteins and other similar molecules, the company adds.

    Using the DVD-Ig technology, Abbott reports creating a single drug candidate that targets multiple disease components, one of which is TNF-alpha. Preclinical evaluation of this drug candidate is under way.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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