Denmark’s DTU Developing New Methods for Designing Therapeutic Antibodies With Help of ERC Grant

Sep 3, 2019 | Antibodies, DTU, Snake Venom, Technical University of Denmark

Denmark’s DTU Developing New Methods for Designing Therapeutic Antibodies With Help of ERC Grant

Researchers at DTU (Technical University of Denmark) are developing new ways to design medicines based on human antibodies with the potential to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, multiresistant bacteria, and snakebite envenoming.

Where is the Source of the Funding?

The European Research Council (ERC) has provided a starting grant of DKK 11.2 million.

What is the name of the Project?

The research project is called MABSTER.

What is the goal of the Research?

The Danish researchers seek to develop new methods for finding human antibodies with specific binding properties. These antibodies can be used to develop a new generation of antivenoms designed to be safe, inexpensive to produce, and administered in low doses.

This Danish research team will continue on past success to develop new types of antibodies relevant not only to battle diseases that affect societies in poorer parts of the globe (e.g. snakebite envenoming) but also develop medicines for cancer, autoimmune disease and even multiresistant bacteria.

Who is the lead Investigator

Professor Andreas Hougaard Lausten from DTU Bioengineering

Professor Lausten Comments

Professor Lausten noted in Mirage News that this new type of human antibody-based antivenom may be produced in cell factories—each antibody will be designed to work against several different snake toxins.

Professor Lausten notes, “We are working on developing and refining the biotechnology methods we use to find therapeutic antibodies. These improved methods will enable us to discover ‘intelligent’ antibodies that can be administered in very low doses while still being effective, or that have a more broad-spectrum effect, meaning that they will work against several types of venom. Among other things, this will enable us to develop next generation of snakebite antivenoms. But it will also make it possible to develop antibody-based medicines for a variety of infectious and parasitic diseases.”

What is Dr. Laursten’s Research Group called?

The Tropical Pharmacology Lab 

What was the Pharmacology Lab’s First Breakthrough?

In 2018 when they succeeded, in collaboration with researchers from Instituto Clodomiro Picado in Costa Rica and IONTAS from Cambridge, England—in using a biotechnological method to produce and propagate human antibodies against black mamba venom.

About DTU

DTU or the Technical University of Denmark is a university near Copenhagen. It was founded in 1829 at the initiative of Hans Christian Ørsted as Denmark’s first polytechnic and is ranked today as one of Europe’s top engineering institutions. DTU maintains an industry collaboration division for partnerships and intellectual property deals.

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