PhD defense of G.H.A. Klarenbeek MSc

PhD defense: Camelid antibodies, more than meets the eye

Camelid antibodies, more than meets the eye, describes our quest to find an animal that could provide antibodies for human therapy. As all good stories go, our research uncovered that of all creatures Camelids have a set of genes encoding for the antibody proteins that resemble those found in humans, in both diversity and form. This means it is easy to make them even closer-to-human, resulting in human therapeutic antibodies, that are not expelled by the body. On the other hand, human proteins are very different from those found in Camelids, making them ideal to immunize with a human (disease related) proteins as the immune system builds-up a diverse set of Camelid antibodies in response to these foreign proteins.

To see how far we could push the platform, now known as SIMPLE, we increased the affinity of an antibody, in order to capture a molecule called Interleukin 6 and is found in a high concentrations in the blood of patients suffering from an inflammatory disease, cancer, or the break-down of muscle and fat tissue during cancer. This research resulted in a molecule now being investigated in clinical studies to effectively become a treatment. Hence, the protocol that was designed can help other scientists to generate more such molecules.

Finally, we tried to see if the platform could generate an antibody fragment that can block the receptor that enables the HIV virus to enter the host-cell without blocking the normal function of this receptor. This investigation resulted in a molecule that potently blocks HIV but the host-receptors function to a lesser extent. These findings give the camelid a well-deserved spot amongst other antibody-platforms.

Start date and time
End date and time
University Hall, Domplein 29
PhD candidate
G.H.A. Klarenbeek MSc
Camelid antibodies, more than meets the eye
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. J. Boonstra
prof. dr. J.J.W. de Haard
dr. R.C. Roovers