RNA-based platform may promote development of antibody drugs

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RNA-based platform may promote development of antibody drugs

Postby whbio » Mar 03 2017 3:00 pm

University of Pennsylvania researchers report in Nature Communications that they have found a safer and less expensive approach to deliver therapeutic antibodies. In the approach, modified mRNA molecules that encode specific antibodies are encapsulated into lipid nanoparticles, and these particles are then injected into mice. After the modified mRNA molecules enter mouse cells, they are translated into antibody proteins within the cells. These antibodies then help to fight against diseases and infections.

Antibodies have emerged as a new, attractive class of drugs for a range of human diseases, especially cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. However one thing that impedes development and applications of antibodies is that antibody manufacture is expensive due to the large size and complexity of antibody molecules. The new approach used in this study may accelerate the development of antibody drugs.

In previous studies, the research team used modified mRNA to produce hormones and other proteins in experimental animals. For this work, they used the approach to produce antibody proteins, and found that a single dose of this type of mRNA is sufficient to protect mice from HIV infection.

The mRNA molecules encoding the light and heavy chains of VRC01, a broadly neutralizing antibody against HIV-1, were modified so that they can enter cells easily and not trigger inflammation that may cause harmful effects. These modified VRC01 mRNA molecules were then encapsulated into lipid nanoparticles because lipid nanoparticles are effective mRNA carriers which enable high levels of protein production. The researchers found that VRC01 mRNA-LNPs were quickly translated into functional antibody in experimental mice, and a single injection of VRC01 mRNA-LNPs effectively protected mice from two different HIV strains, SF162 and JR-CSF.

"The nucleoside-modified mRNA-LNP platform is a safe, simple, and efficient alternative to therapeutic protein delivery," the researchers concluded. In addition, Cusabio is a manufacturer of antibodies. http://www.cusabio.com/
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