Beta testing revealed benefits over the HuCAL Gold version.

Shionogi has exercised its option to take a research license for MorphoSys’ HuCAL (human combinatorial antibody library) Platinum antibody library following a successful beta-test period. The Japanese company has had access to HuCAL Platinum since April 2009 and has been comparing the library with its previous version, HuCAL Gold.

“HuCAL Platinum’s capabilities go beyond any other antibody-sourcing library we have used in the past,” notes Yoshito Numata, Ph.D., department head of drug target discovery at Shionogi’s discovery research laboratory.

MorphoSys and Shionogi signed their initial three-year license agreement for HuCAL technology in September 2005. The deal was extended for another three years in September 2008.

In the HuCAL libraries the structural diversity of the human antibody repertoire is represented by seven heavy-chain and seven light-chain variable region genes, MorphoSys explains. The combination of these genes gives rise to 49 frameworks in the master library. Superimposing highly variable genetic cassettes (CDRs, or complementary determining regions) on these frameworks then allows reconstruction of the complete human antibody repertoire.

The HuCAL Platinum library is based on the genetic information of some 45 billion fully human antibodies and features a number of significant improvements over the previous version, according to MorphoSys. The increased library size and a genetic re-design of the HCDR3-region have yielded up to a 25-fold greater diversity of initial binders compared with the previous version, the firm maintains.

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