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Characterization of Therapeutic Monoclonals by Targeted Epitope

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Monoclonal antibody therapy focuses on engineering immune cells to target specific peptide sequences indicative of disease. An impediment in the continued advancement of this market is the lack of an efficient, inexpensive means of characterization that can be broadly applied

Monoclonal antibody therapy focuses on engineering immune cells to target specific peptide sequences indicative of disease. An impediment in the continued advancement of this market is the lack of an efficient, inexpensive means of characterization that can be broadly applied to any antibody while still providing high-density data. Many characterization methods address an antibody's affinity for its cognate sequence but overlook other important aspects of binding behavior such as off-target binding interactions. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how the binding intensity between an antibody and a library of random-sequence peptides, otherwise known as an immunosignature, can be evaluated to determine antibody specificity and polyreactivity. A total of 24 commercially available monoclonal antibodies were assayed on 125K and 330K peptide microarrays and analyzed using a motif clustering program to predict candidate epitopes within each antigen sequence. The results support the further development of immunosignaturing as an antibody characterization tool that is relevant to both therapeutic and non-therapeutic antibodies.

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2018-05

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Synbody Assisted MRSA Growth Inhibition

Description

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major challenge to healthcare professionals. Treatment of MRSA is expensive, and otherwise avoidable deaths occur every year in the United States due to MRSA infections. Additionally, such infections lengthen patients’ stays in hospitals,

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major challenge to healthcare professionals. Treatment of MRSA is expensive, and otherwise avoidable deaths occur every year in the United States due to MRSA infections. Additionally, such infections lengthen patients’ stays in hospitals, keeping them out of work and adversely affecting the economy. Beta lactam antibiotics used to be highly effective against S. aureus infections, but resistance mechanisms have rendered methicillin, oxacillin, and other beta lactam antibiotics ineffective against these infections. A promising avenue for MRSA treatment lies in the use of synthetic antibodies—molecules that bind with specificity to a given compound. Synbody 14 is an example of such a synbody, and has been designed with MRSA treatment in mind. Mouse model studies have even associated Syn14 treatment with reduced weight loss and morbidity in MRSA-infected mice. In this experiment, in vitro activity of Syn 14 and oxacillin was assessed. Early experiments measured Syn 14 and oxacillin’s effectiveness in inhibiting colony growth in growth media, mouse serum, and mouse blood. Syn14 and oxacillin had limited efficacy against USA300 strain MRSA, though interestingly it was noted that Syn14 outperformed oxacillin in mouse serum and whole mouse blood, indicating the benefits of its binding properties. A second experiment measured the impact that a mix of oxacillin and Syn 14 had on colony growth, as well as the effect of adding them simultaneously or one after the other. While use of either bactericidal alone did not show a major inhibitory effect on USA300 MRSA colony growth, their use in combination showed major decreases in colony growth. Moreover, it was found that unlike other combination therapies, Syn14 and oxacillin did not require simultaneous addition to MRSA cells to achieve inhibition of cell growth. They merely required that Syn14 be added first. This result suggests Syn14’s possible utility in therapeutic settings, as the time insensitivity of synergy removes a major hurdle to clinical use—the difficulty in ensuring that two drugs reach an affected area at the same time. Syn14 remains a promising antimicrobial agent, and further study should focus on its precise mechanism of action and suitability in clinical treatment of MRSA infections.

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2015-05

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Targeting Traumatic Brain Injury: Using Phage Display to Create a Specific Antibody for Neurocan Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan Recognition

Description

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient,

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient, this study attempts to aid in the creation of a system for quantitative measurement of TBI and its relative magnitude. Through a method of artificial evolution/selection called phage display, an antibody that binds highly specifically to a post-TBI upregulated brain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan called neurocan has been identified. As TG1 Escheria Coli bacteria were infected with KM13 helper phage and M13 filamentous phage in conjunction, monovalent display of antibody fragments (ScFv) was performed. The ScFv bind directly to the neurocan and from screening, phage that produced ScFv's with higher affinity and specificity to neurocan were separated and purified. Future research aims to improve the ScFv characteristics through increased screening toward neurocan. The identification of a highly specific antibody could lead to improved targeting of neurocan post-TBI in-vivo, aiding researchers in quantitatively defining TBI by visualizing its magnitude.

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2015-05