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Scripps research scientists engineer new type of vaccination that provides instant immunity
Date:3/2/2009

ent fashion.

The current breakthrough builds on work the Barbas laboratory has been engaged in for the past few years on chemically programmed monoclonal antibodies, a new class of therapeutics that the group invented. In this type of therapy, small, cell-targeting molecules and non-targeting catalytic monoclonal antibodies self-assemble to target pathogens. Monoclonal antibodies are produced in the laboratory from a single cloned B-cell the immune system cell that makes antibodies to bind to a specific substance. Three clinical trials are now under way by Pfizer to test the therapeutic effectiveness of this new type of therapy in cancer and diabetes. The antibodies in the antibody-adapter complex are monoclonal antibodies engineered to link themselves to adapter molecules.

The Search for the Ideal Vaccination

The practice of vaccination has been extraordinarily successful in controlling certain diseases, but there are drawbacks. Vaccine development can be an educated guessing game in the case of the flu, for example, scientists must study worldwide outbreak patterns to anticipate which type of flu might strike a particular area. In addition, the most common vaccination strategies use whole proteins, viruses, or other complex immunogens not just the specific part of the macromolecule that is recognized by the immune system to elicit an immune response, which makes for wasted immune activity. Then there is the body's own kinetics the time it takes to mount a disease-relevant immune response to immunogens limits the speed with which immunity can be achieved. Finally, age-related declines in the ability to mount strong immune responses to biological-based vaccines present another challenge to the effectiveness of such vaccines.

Barbas's chemical-based rather than biological based approach to vaccine development addresses many of these challenges.

"Our approach differs from the traditional vaccine approa
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Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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