Synthetics antibodies which can replace antibodies from humans used as ingredients of medicines have been developed. It can increase the costs to 1/100 of the current costs and is much easier to develop. It is expected that the development period will be shortened from 10 years to 5.
Prof. Hak Seong Kim from the Biology department of KAIST conducted a joint research with Prof. Dong Seob Kim to reconstruct proteins and has succeeded.
The synthetic antibody displays much strength in terms of its productivity, structural formation, and bonding capability, and is thus regarded as an ideal protein. It can replace the antigens that are currently in use. It is expected that Korea will therefore be able to lead the world market for protein medicines which is a 192trillion won industry.
The original antibody has been used for not only treating diseases, but also for various other applications in the fields of medical sciences and biology. However, it is produced through a very complex process involving the incubation of animal cells, and is therefore very expensive. Also, most antibodies are already patented by more developed countries, so a high royalty fee must be paid.
Because of this, many countries including Korea has been concentrating on developing biosimilars copying the antibody medicines for which the patents have already expired. This causes Korea to be behind in the development of antibody protein pharmaceuticals.
Prof. Kim’s research team has focused on the face that the protein existing in some eels are not antibodies but functions as one, and has been successful in developing a synthetic antibody.
The synthetic antibody can be mass produced from the colon bacillus, which allows it to be produced at 1/100 the original cost. It is in a module structure which allows the structuring of the antibody into the desired structure, enabling it to be developed into a protein-based medicine within 5 years.
Together with this, the coherence with the important antigens can be easily controlled, thus allowing for highly effective treatments, less side-effects, high security regarding heat and pH, and the immunogen levels being negligeable. This suggests a very high rate of the antibody being converted into a protein based medication.
The synthetic antibody technology has been tested as a sample for the cure for lung diseases and rheumatism and has been proven to be appropriate. Animal testing will be conducted soon.
Prof Kim said “The original antibodies had a small area allowing the bonding with antibodies, creating barriers for raising bonding strength and structuring. The newly created antibody carries only the strengths and will become a new protein based medicine purely created by Korean technology to replace the antibodies currently used in medications.”
Furthermore, he added that, “The synthesized antibody structuring and designing technology will be widely used in the areas of detecting, diagnosing, and analyzing diseases.”
At the same time, this research result has been published in the Feb 10th issue of the PNAS, and has been supported by the future promising pioneer business program held by the Ministry of Education and Technology.
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