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Research & Development

During the last decade, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antibody fragments have been widely used in medical diagnosis and therapy.

However, the techniques for producing mAbs in animal cell cultures are labour-intensive, time-consuming and expensive, especially if large amounts of the product are required, e.g. for clinical trials. Recent advances in immunology, cell and molecular biology have overcome these limitations.

The primary focal points of this department, thus, are the development of new antibody-based reagents for clinical use in humans and animals as well as the optimization of commercially established or pharmaceutically relevant diagnostic and therapeutic products.

Target specific and potentially new reagents are isolated from immunized animals by means of hybridoma or phage display technology. Moreover, human recombinant antibodies and antibody fragments are generated using the human B-cell pool. Combinatorial approaches are used to optimize the recombinant reagents by molecular evolution, enabling a rational protein design.

Production of diagnostic and therapeutic products for clinical use in humans and for veterinary applications is optimized using well established commercial tools with proven efficacy as well as novel approaches. Combinatorial methods (phage display technologies) and proteomics to isolate new targets and binding ligands are developed. Molecular evolution and other cutting edge recombinant technologies are subsequently used for product optimization. In vitro and in vivo testing is used to validate efficacy of these molecules. Following identification of candidate proteins these are used to generate bio- and protein chips, integrated into diagnostic kits for the detection of human and animal diseases. In addition, they can be further developed as therapeutic agents (radioimmunoconjugates, toxin fusions, fusions with biological response modifiers, bispecific antibodies) for clinical applications.