The recombinant protein was then used to immunise test subjects using standard hybridoma technology. This involves fusion of specific antibody-producing cells with cancer cells to form hybrid cell lines, growing them in tissue culture, and retaining and purifying the antibodies produced. In this project, a first test group was used to produce antibodies derived from monoclonal antibodies, and another to produce antibodies derived from polyclonal antibodies.
"We used a standard technology" says Professor Vaclav Horej of the Institute of Molecular Genetics in Prague (IMG). "But what's unique about our project is the products especially the monoclonal antibodies, which are of unique specificity, with great commercial potential and in some cases also useful for diagnostics."
The RECAN project has also made important advances in cytofluorometry, which is the use of specific fluorescent markers to distinguish between types of cells. The project partners developed methods to prepare monoclonal antibodies bound to several types of a new range of fluorochrome dyes. Antibodies bound to these dyes can readily be distinguished from those labelled with more conventional dyes.
One particular focus of this part of the project was to develop methodology for the immunophenotyping of leukaemia, and Exbio aims to be one of the first European companies to offer use of these novel fluorochrome dyes to screen leukaemia patients and those with rheumatoid arthritis. One of the monoclonal antibodies recognizes an important signalling protein called ZAP70, which is a characteristic marker of certain types of leukaemia and therefore can be used for diagnostic purposes. Although this method is already established, new monoclonal antibodies are still necessary to develop a standard protocol for routine diagnosis of this type of leukaemi
|Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski|