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Nov 16, 2012

Developing Chicken-Derived mAbs

  • Crystal Bioscience and Integral Molecular launched a research collaboration to generate panels of chicken monoclonal antibodies against undisclosed therapeutic GPCR and ion channel targets. According to the firms, the collaboration will leverage the synergy between Integral Molecular's Lipoparticle technology for immunization with native conformation multispanning membrane proteins and Crystal's GEM technology for the recovery of monoclonal antibodies against otherwise conserved proteins raised in immunized chickens.

    “We are excited to be working with Crystal Bioscience to develop antibodies in alternative species where there is increased likelihood of success in eliciting antibodies against epitopes conserved in mammals,” said Joseph Rucker, Ph.D., director of R&D at Integral Molecular. “We believe that this powerful combination of technologies for immunization and screening will culminate in the ability to produce antibodies against therapeutic targets that have been historically difficult to work with due to both their conformational complexity and high conservation.”

    Integral Molecular’s Lipoparticle technology is designed to be a stable, cell-free solution for displaying high concentrations of membrane proteins in their native conformations for antibody and drug discovery applications. Lipoparticles are noninfectious virus-like particles (VLPs) containing structurally-intact membrane proteins on their surface.

    Crystal Bioscience’s antibody discovery platform, according to the firm, exploits the phylogenetic distance between mammals and birds to generate antibody libraries to human targets. Bioactive monoclonal antibodies can reportedly be recovered using Crystal’s GEM screening technology, which allows them to screen B cells isolated from the spleen of immunized birds. GEM stands for “Gel Encapsulated Microenvironment”, and, according to Crystal, the GEM assay can provide a gateway to monoclonal antibodies from species for which there does not exist a suitable hybridoma fusion partner.

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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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