Antibody fragments: Hope and hype
Volume 2, Issue 1
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Pages 77 - 83http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/mabs.2.1.10786
Authors: Aaron L. Nelson View affiliations
The antibody molecule is modular, and separate domains can be extracted through biochemical or genetic means. It is clear from review of the literature that a wave of novel, antigen-specific molecular forms may soon enter clinical evaluation. This report examines the developmental histories of therapeutics derived from antigen-specific fragments of antibodies produced by recombinant processes. Three general types of fragments were observed, antigen-binding fragments (Fab), single chain variable fragments (scFv), and “third generation” (3G), each representing a successive wave of antibody fragment technology. In parallel, drug developers have explored multi-specificity and conjugation with exogenous functional moieties in all three fragment types. Despite high hopes and an active pipeline, enthusiasm for differentiating performance of fragments should, perhaps, be tempered as there are yet few data that suggest these molecules have distinct clinical properties due only to their size.
Received: November 10, 2009; Accepted: November 27, 2009