Development of more effective antibodies against leukaemia and solid tumours
Dr. Ludger Große-Hovest, Gundram Jung
Center for Clinical Transfusion Medicine (ZKT), Tübingen; Synimmune GmbH
Recipient: Center for Clinical Transfusion Medicine (ZKT), Tübingen
Funding: GO-Bio Phase I (01.01.2008 - 29.02.2012, 2.184.775 Euro)
Recipient: SYNIMMUNE GmbH
Funding: GO-Bio Phase II (01.03.2012 - 31.07.2015, 4.098.885 Euro)
In the body, the antibodies of the immune system serve to recognise and dispose of pathogens. Using biotechnological methods, it is possible to produce humanised monoclonal antibodies that are targeted towards specific surface characteristics of degenerated cancer cells, making them visible to the immune system. However, antibody treatments often have a limited effect as well as a short duration of action. Gundram Jung and Ludger Große-Hovest are working to significantly increase the overall efficiency and efficacy of antibodies via a process of optimisation. The first phase of GO-Bio funding was aimed at the expansion and further development of the platform technology for the optimisation of both monospecific and bispecific antibodies. A monoclonal antibody against leukaemia that is optimised in the Fc region is currently the most advanced and has already been used on patients as part of a clinical curative trial in early 2010. The start of the phase I clinical trial is scheduled for mid-2012. In the second phase of funding, bispecific antibodies against leukaemia will be tested in preclinical and clinical studies, and investigations will be carried out into further monoclonal antibodies against solid tumours. The antibodies are being produced in the newly-established ‘GMP Center’ at the University of Tübingen’s Center for Clinical Transfusion Medicine. Jung und Große-Hovest founded Synimmune GmbH in 2010 for the ongoing development of the optimised antibodies. Negotiations are currently underway with a number of investors for the financing of preclinical and clinical development.