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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Nov;1844(11):2002-2015. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2014.07.006. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

Antibody informatics for drug discovery.

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Molecular Medicine Research Laboratories, Drug Discovery Research, Astellas Pharma Inc., 21, Miyukigaoka, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8585, Japan.
Global Biotherapeutics, Bioinformatics, Sanofi-Aventis Recherche & Développement, Centre de recherche Vitry-sur-Seine, 13, quai Jules Guesde, BP 14, 94403 Vitry-sur-Seine Cedex, France.
Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Project, La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, 9420 Athena Circle, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, Anker Engelunds Vej 1, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark.
MedImmune Ltd, Milstein Building, Granta Park, Cambridge CB21 6GH, UK.
The EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK.
IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®, Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire (LIGM), Université Montpellier 2, Institut de Génétique Humaine, UPR CNRS 1142, 141 rue de la Cardonille, 34396 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.
The EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK. Electronic address:


More and more antibody therapeutics are being approved every year, mainly due to their high efficacy and antigen selectivity. However, it is still difficult to identify the antigen, and thereby the function, of an antibody if no other information is available. There are obstacles inherent to the antibody science in every project in antibody drug discovery. Recent experimental technologies allow for the rapid generation of large-scale data on antibody sequences, affinity, potency, structures, and biological functions; this should accelerate drug discovery research. Therefore, a robust bioinformatic infrastructure for these large data sets has become necessary. In this article, we first identify and discuss the typical obstacles faced during the antibody drug discovery process. We then summarize the current status of three sub-fields of antibody informatics as follows: (i) recent progress in technologies for antibody rational design using computational approaches to affinity and stability improvement, as well as ab-initio and homology-based antibody modeling; (ii) resources for antibody sequences, structures, and immune epitopes and open drug discovery resources for development of antibody drugs; and (iii) antibody numbering and IMGT. Here, we review "antibody informatics," which may integrate the above three fields so that bridging the gaps between industrial needs and academic solutions can be accelerated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Recent advances in molecular engineering of antibody.


Antibody database; Antibody informatics; Antibody modeling; Antibody numbering; Drug discovery

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