Antibody Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Scientists in the US led by Dr. Mark Greene of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have developed a monoclonal antibody that they hope will become a successful therapeutic agent against prostate cancer. Every year thousands of men die from aggressive forms of this disease. This research holds out hope for those affected although it will be some time before clinical trials will be carried out.

When we become infected by foreign cells such as bacteria or viruses or cancer cells one very important means of defense that we can utilize is to produce antibodies. All cells have proteins on their surfaces known as antigens. When foreign cells enter our bodies the antigens are recognized as foreign by our immune system and B Lymphocytes are prompted to produce antibodies. Once antibodies are formed they act by attaching and binding to the antigens on the surface of the invading cell. This ultimately leads to the destruction of the cell and the removal of the infection or cancer cells. Antibodies are a very powerful weapon in our fight against disease.

There are two significant characteristics of antibodies that we can exploit in the treatment of disease. One is that antibodies are totally specific. For example if we contract an infection such as rubella we will produce an antibody specifically targeted to the rubella virus. The second characteristic is that antibodies remain in our bodies after an infection has been cleared thereby conferring protection into the future against that disease.

It is these characteristics that have led to the development of vaccine technology. Pharmaceutical companies take pathological organisms and treat them so that they cannot cause infection. These inactive organisms make up the main component of a vaccine. When a vaccine is administered our immune system recognizes the antigen, antibody is produced and we become immune to future infection.

The cells which produce antibodies are B Lymphocytes, which are white blood cells. Scientists can isolate and clone B lymphocytes to produce antibodies in laboratory conditions. These antibodies can then be used therapeutically to treat infection or cancer. The antibodies produced will be either polyclonal or monoclonal. Polyclonal antibodies are produced from several cell lines. Monoclonal antibodies are produced from just one cell line. To produce a monoclonal antibody a B Lymphocyte is fused with a tumor cell. The fused cell is known as a hybridoma and it has the capability of reproducing endlessly. This technology allows scientists to create unlimited and large quantities of very specific antibody which can be used to treat disease very effectively. One of the major advantages of the use of monoclonal antibodies is its absolute specificity. It targets a cancer cell directly with with very few side effects for the patient.

Antibodies are already being used to tackle diseases such as lymphoma and breast cancer. Up to now there has been no successful antibody therapy for prostate cancer. Dr Greenes research team has produced an antibody called F77 which looks very promising. Despite the research being at a very early stage, it raises the prospect of an effective treatment for advanced prostate cancer for the first time.

Monoclonal Antibody – Alternatives for Treating Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or NHL is a serious affection which occurs due to the presence of B cells (B lymophocytes), a type of white blood cells which usually lead to severe complications such as tumors. Even though, treatments with chemotherapy and radiation are considered effective for many people who suffer from NHL, on the other hand for many pantients these procedures can be very toxic.

In addition to this, specialists have developed in the laboratories a new theraphy to treat NHL, a theraphy known as Monoclonal-antibody which has been proved to be safe and effective for certain patients. As we know the body produces antibodies, substances which have the role to fight against bacteria and viruses. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies have been produced in laboratories like many other antibodies and have the role in producing anti-tumor effects. Since most NHL patients have B cells, treatment with monoclonal-antibodies has brought important results in healing lymphoma and much more they have been prescribed with other toxin or radioactive particles that usually kill cells.

Furthermore, monoclonal antibody treatments usually include medications as Rituxan or Bexxar. First of all, treatments with Rituxan are considered very effective for people who suffer from NHL and may be used for other types of lymphomas too. Rituxan is the only monoclonal antibody treatment approved for NHL and most of the time has been studied in patients that have relapsed low grade NHL. Moreover, it can be taken without other medicines and it is usually given intravenously once a week for 4 weeks. In contrast to other procedures, Rituxin doesn’t offer serious side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, and low blood counts.

Secondly, another monoclonal antibody which is being tested in laboratories is Bexxar. This medicine is a murine monoclonal antibody and doesn’t have a naked form due to the presence of a radiocative iodine molecule which is attached to it. Just like Rituxan, this agent is administered intravenous with the first dose having a trace amount of radioactivity and the second dose containing most of the radioactive iodine. On the other hand, Bexxar has some negative aspects, such as fever, chills or shakes and in some cases NHL patients may have temporary drop in blood counts.

Thirdly, another monoclonal antibody which has been studied as NHL treatments is Oncolym. This agent has been studied in a radiolabeled form like Bexxar and has proved to be toxic like other radiolabeled antibodies. In contrast, LL2 is a humanized antibody, using a naked, unlabeled form as well as a radiolabeled form.

To conclude, monoclonal antibodies can be very effective in treating NHL due to their low toxicity and also the advantage of combining them with each other and also by using them in combination with chemotherapy or other procedures. It is important to say that people who suffer from NHL should be aware of their condition and become well-informed in order to follow the suitable treatment.

Sclerostin Antibody – Bone Overgrowth From Mutations

Sclerostin antibody Sclerostin is a secreted glycoprotein with a protein sequence similar to the bone morphogenic protein antagonist family. The protein is encoded by the SOST gene in humans. It is produced by the osteocyte and down regulates osteoblastic bone formation.

Recently, sclerostin has been implicated in the inhibition of Wnt signaling leading to attenuated bone formation and growth, acting as a stop signal to decrease bone formation by osteoblasts. Mutations in sclerostin are a result from early stop signals during protein production, leading to uninhibited Wnt signaling and bone overgrowth. The mutations in this process can lead to a range of diseases, such as type II diabetes, breast and prostate cancer.

Production of this protein is inhibited by parathyroid hormone, leading to enhanced release of the calcium from the large reservoir contained in the bones, indirectly stimulating bone resorption by osteoclasts, and various other cytokines. Production of this protein is stimulated by calcitonin, a hormone which acts to reduce blood calcium levels that acts in opposition to the parathyroid hormone.

Bone remodelling is the process by which the adult skeleton is continually renewed through the highly coordinated activity of three types of cells, which are osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes. Disruptions in signalling among these cells and alterations in their activity have been associated with skeletal diseases such as ‘van Buchem disease’.

Mutations in the sclerostin gene are associated with the autosomal-recessive disorder called sclerosteosis, in addition to other disorders characterized by bone overgrowth. Sclerosteosis is a rare disorder characterized by bone over growth primarily in the skull, mandible and long, tubular bones. Individual affected with this homozygous disorder have no detectable levels of circulating sclerostin. However, heterozygous individuals for the mutations express the normal phenotype and normal lifespan, with dense bones and a low risk for fracture. This observation has led to the development of a novel strategy to emulate the heterozygous mutational state as an effective treatment for bone loss disorders such as osteoporosis.

Sclerostin is the subject of key research into both bone overgrowth and bone loss. As Sclerostin antibody could potentially increase bone formation significantly without effecting bone resorption and enhance bone strength. Thus, sclerostin antibody can potentially alleviate osteoporosis disease, this occurs when bones become fragile and more likely to fracture.

This has been established in numerous clinical trials in rats, monkeys, and in humans. It has been recognized that the absence of the sclerostin protein leads to bone overgrowth. Whereas an excess amount of sclerostin leads to bone loss and reduced bone strength. This was proved in various trials, for instance the trial on a six month old female rats was a success. Once the sclerostin antibody was administered, it quickly created an increase in bone formation on trabecular, periosteal, endocortical, and intracortical surfaces. For the human clinical trials, it was a success in healthy men and postmenopausal women (72 targets), as the antibody was tolerated well, which was the palpable primary goal. Additionally, the targets had augmented bone density for hip fractures and in their spine. Methods to increase bone in humans have long been sought. The bone formation axis controlled by sclerostin may provide an important new strategy to accomplish this. Thus, Sclerostin asserts itself as a prime therapeutic target to address bone disorders. The modification of its activity or expression offers an exciting possibility for the development of new drugs for the treatment of disorders associated with bone loss.

This antibody is for research use only and can be used on the following applications, WB (western blot), IHC-P(immunohistochemistry), and P-ELISA.

Finding the Right Partners Is Key to Success of Monoclonal Antibody Production

Biopharmaceutical as a growing industry is not merely conjecture at this point. The BioProcess Technology Consultants in a 2011 report said that the total revenues among biopharma companies surpassed $100 billion in 2010. But the industry is far from peaking as companies are expected to increase their spending to $200 billion by 2015. But there’s a wide gap between the demand for cell line development and the ability of global pharma companies to build new capacities to fill that gaping hole. This issue won’t affect the huge multinationals more than the smaller companies that can no more afford to invest in these facilities nor pick the scraps left behind by the multinationals.

The rise of CMOs

This is the reason why the number of contract manufacturing organizations is growing very rapidly because they enable smaller biopharma companies to compete. Of course huge companies are also outsourcing some of their production needs not only to cut costs but also to ensure that new product lines are religiously being rolled out. In fact, biologics represent more than 3 in 10 drugs in the development stage in the world. Companies have found the value of outsourcing their requirements for cell line development, biosimilars or biobetters.

Expiring patents

It’s easy to think that the market is already saturated with CMOs, but you would be wrong. Between 2011 and 2018, for example, blockbuster biologics (or those belonging to the top 30 biologics) worth $30 billion in Europe alone are scheduled to lose their patent protection. That means a free-for-all frenzy to develop similar products that may be cheaper and better. Whether you can afford to

Working with a pro

There’s an unjust apprehension regarding biosimilars, and maybe you can include there the Biobetters, but this is typically driven by the type of research and development methods being employed as well as the facilities used to manufacture those products.

Therefore it’s paramount that you work with a professional with the track record and the knowhow to deliver your requirements on time and on competitive rates. In a cutthroat industry, it’s important to gain whatever edge you can get and selling cheaper medicine is always a nice marketing come-on. To think about partnering with CMOs for radiolabeled antibody products or cell line development in order to cut costs is a shallow way of looking at it. More than the savings, it’s one way to make sure that whatever drug is being sold in shelves is not compromised by the biopharma company’s decision to cut some corners in safety procedures and quality ingredients.