FREIBURG, Germany, Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aldevron has recently been granted a new research grant worth more than 400,000 USD from funds provided by the German Ministry for Research and Development (BMBF) as part of the "Eurotrans-Bio" program (European network of transnational RTD for SMEs in the field of biotechnology). This project is entitled "COLCAB: Production of novel diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies directed against colon cancer stem cells" and will be carried out together with Exiris srl, an Italian biotechnology company and the Italian National Institute of Health in Rome (Istituto Superiore di Sanita).
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common forms of malignancies in humans with an incidence of about 1,000,000 new cases worldwide each year. While early stage CRC can be cured, metastatic disease is almost always incurable and represents a considerable medical challenge. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been implicated in relapse, drug resistance and metastasis in several hematologic and solid malignancies. At present there are no drugs selectively targeting colon CSCs, nor are there robust assays that would allow their detection in clinical samples. Taking advantage of whole genome gene expression data of a number of different colon CSC lines, cell surface antigens selectively expressed by these cells will be identified using a bioinformatic approach. Subsequently, Aldevron will generate monoclonal antibodies against these antigens using a highly validated technology developed to directly generate antibodies by genetic immunization that will recognize the native proteins. These antibodies are expected to be useful to detect colon CSCs in patient specimens and may constitute prototypes for the development of novel, humanized monoclonal antibodies for the eradication of colon CSCs in the clinic.
"This is another exciting research project recently granted to Aldevron in an area that has tremendous potential for improving the identification of those cells responsible for causing colonic tumour metastases and possibly to develop more efficient forms of therapy for patient sufferers," said Dr John Thompson, Managing Director of Aldevron Freiburg. "This project will enable us to apply our core technology to develop antibodies with high specificity against CSC cell surface marker molecules that will help identify and possibly even eradicate these time-bomb cells in colonic cancer patients."
Aldevron provides contract manufacturing and scientific services for antibody generation, protein manufacture and plasmid DNA production. Aldevron has applied genetic immunization technology for over 12 years and its custom antibodies have been referenced in over 140 publications and patents for more than 500 clients worldwide. Antibody services also include protein or peptide immunization, antibody production and purification, antibody processing and characterization.
In Europe, Contact:
In the US, Contact:Madison WI