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MAbs. 2012 Jul-Aug;4(4):445-57. doi: 10.4161/mabs.20776. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

Molecular engineering of antibodies for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.

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CEA, iBiTec-S, Department of Pharmacology and Immunoanalysis, Laboratory of Antibody Engineering for Health, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


During the past ten years, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have taken center stage in the field of targeted therapy and diagnosis. This increased interest in mAbs is due to their binding accuracy (affinity and specificity) together with the original molecular and structural rules that govern interactions with their cognate antigen. In addition, the effector properties of antibodies constitute a second major advantage associated with their clinical use. The development of molecular and structural engineering and more recently of in vitro evolution of antibodies has opened up new perspectives in the de novo design of antibodies more adapted to clinical and diagnostic use. Thus, efforts are regularly made by researchers to improve or modulate antibody recognition properties, to adapt their pharmacokinetics, engineer their stability, and control their immunogenicity. This review presents the latest molecular engineering results on mAbs with therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

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