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Next generation of pharmaceuticals might make good use of shark antibody proteins

By La Trobe University

International collaboration evaluates new antibody technology

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Australian research into shark antibodies that holds out the potential for new drugs and diagnostic agents is a step closer to realising its goal following an agreement with international diagnostic and pharmaceutical giant, Roche.

The pioneering work, which has attracted world-wide interest, is based on research led by Associate Professor Michael Foley at the La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science (LIMS).

It builds on discoveries over the last decade that shark antibodies could offer a lot of advantages over existing therapies in the fight against cancers and autoimmune diseases.

The research agreement between Roche and the Melbourne-based biotechnology company AdAlta aims to identify and evaluate the way in which these small antibodies isolated from shark blood are able to bind to a diagnostic target.

Dr Foley is founding scientist and Chief Scientific Officer of AdAlta. He and his co-researchers have built the world’s first test tube ‘library’ of disease-targeting antibodies based on modified shark antibodies.

He says his company is pioneering a range of new technology that uses modified shark antibodies for both treatment and diagnosis, offering prospects for new and more effective approaches to a wide range of diseases.

Small, stable and right on target
Shark antibodies are very small and extremely...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.