Monoclonal antibody treatment
- 18 Member States of European Commission signs contract for the supply of a monoclonal antibody treatment of up to 220,000 treatments.
- Monoclonal antibodies are artificially created antibodies that aim to aid the body’s natural immune system.
- For People whose immune systems are unable to make sufficient amounts of these antibodies, scientists provide a helping hand by using monoclonal antibodies.
A monoclonal antibody (mAb or moAb)
- It is an antibody made by cloning a unique white blood cell.
- All subsequent antibodies derived this way trace back to a unique parent cell.
- Monoclonal antibodies can have monovalent affinity, binding only to the same epitope (the part of an antigen that is recognized by the antibody).
- Monoclonal antibodies can be created in the lab by exposing white blood cells to a particular antigen.
- To increase the number of antibodies produced, a single white blood cell is cloned, which in turn is used to create identical copies of the antibodies.
- In the case of Covid-19, scientists usually work with the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which facilitates the entry of the virus into the host cell.
- The idea of delivering antibodies to treat a disease dates as far back as the 1900s, when Nobel-prize-winning German immunologist Paul Ehrlich proposed the idea of a ‘Zauberkugel‘ (magic bullet), a compound that selectively targets a pathogen.
- From then, it took eight decades of research to finally arrive at Muromonab-CD3, the world’s first monoclonal antibody to be approved for clinical use in humans.
- Muromonab-CD3 is an immunosuppressant drug given to reduce acute rejection in patients with organ transplants.
Monoclonal antibody therapy
- It is a form of immunotherapy that uses monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to bind mono specifically to certain cells or proteins.
- The objective is that this treatment will stimulate the patient's immune system to attack those cells.
- Alternatively, in radioimmunotherapy a radioactive dose localizes a target cell line, delivering lethal chemical doses.
- More recently antibodies have been used to bind to molecules involved in T-cell regulation to remove inhibitory pathways that block T-cell responses.
- This is known as immune checkpoint therapy.