In our drive to improve targeted therapies of diseases, we have assembled significant expertise in antibody engineering, particularly proprietary CDR-grafting methods, antibody production and formulation, immunochemistry, molecular biology, antibody conjugation, peptide chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, and protein engineering.
Beginning with our unique grafting technique to produce humanized antibodies, our antibody humanization platform has produced a diverse portfolio of therapeutic agents that are in multiple stages of clinical trials for the therapy of cancer and autoimmune diseases. These humanized antibodies are well tolerated and have a low incidence of immunogenicity.
With the successful humanized antibody platform as a foundation, we have built a robust antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) program using our own proprietary ADC linker technology. Linking a drug directly to a targeting agent such as an antibody is but one way of drug delivery. Together with our majority-owned subsidiary, IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., we have also pioneered a novel delivery method called pretargeting, in which the therapeutic agent and the antibody are administered to the patient in two separate steps. This delivery method has been shown in preclinical studies to produce very high tumor/normal tissue ratios of uptake. More importantly, with pretargeting, we believe we can apply both imaging and therapy in the same patient, first to qualify the patient for our targeted therapy, and then to monitor the patient’s response and progress. We believe strongly that pretargeting has the potential to bring us closer to personalized medicine.
Pretargeting requires the use of bispecific antibodies that recognize two targets. These antibodies are produced by our new protein engineering platform technology called DOCK-AND-LOCK® (DNL®) that combines conjugation chemistry and genetic engineering. Finally, we have invented a novel and facile method of labeling peptides with fluorine-18 (18F) for use in the imaging of diseases using position-emission tomography (PET), and are working toward developing a single-vial kit that can be validated for commercial use. This method also permits the use of other PET radionuclides, such as gallium-68 (68Ga).