Single and Multi-Target Cancer Drug Candidates
Symphogen is developing recombinant antibody mixtures for the treatment of cancer. Recombinant antibody mixtures may be a next-generation treatment for cancer due to, their ability to provide enhanced responseefficacy and the potential for reduced resistance development than single monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The Symphogen approach has demonstrated these benefits both when a single cancer antigen is targeted (such as EGFR) or when targeting multiple antigens in a single drug candidate.
Drawbacks of mAbs
Over the past two decades, mAb based cancer therapies have been important new additions to the cancer treatment armamentarium. However, a drawback of using mAbs against cancer is that elimination of a cancer cell depends on obtaining a sufficient number of antibodies on the surface of the antigen to induce required effector mechanisms. Because mAbs inherently only target one area of the antigen, they may not be able to provide the antibody density needed to eradicate the cancerous cells. In order to improve efficacy, there is often a need for higher doses of the drug, which increases the risk of side-effects.
Another concern is the ability of cancer cells to mutate their genetic sequence, which necessitates a therapeutic that is able to address such mutations. A single mAb specific to only one section of an antigen may not be effective against mutations, because the mAb may no longer recognize the antigen’s changed structure. This may lead to drug resistance.
Benefits of Symphogen Antibody Mixtures
Symphogen researchers have demonstrated that mixtures of two or more antibodies produce enhanced neutralization compared to individual mAbs, demonstrating the feasibility of a polyclonal approach. Importantly by combining antibodies attacking multiple cancer targets in a single drug product, recombinant antibody mixtures may also reduce the likelihood of drug resistance, because cancer cells would need to acquire multiple mutations to escape all of the targeted antibodies. Sym004