Monospecific antibodies (monoclonal antibodies) of therapeutic interest have received significant attention since their development by Milstein and Kohler in 1975. A large number of monoclonals have been licensed and are used in the clinic today, particularly as anticancer agents. Nonetheless, the very high cost associated to the production and purification of monoclonals is a particular challenge to their commercialization, since a treatment can cost upwards of $100,000 per patient. This proposal aims at exploring a novel strategy for the sustained and constant delivery of monoclonal antibodies. Mesenchymal stem cells genetically engineered to produce and secrete antibodies will be enclosed in biocompatible alginate microcapsules (200-400 micrometers in diameter). The microcapsules are permeable to IgG and nutrients, but immune cells cannot penetrate. As a result of their immune isolation the enclosed allogeneic cells are not rejected, making tissue matching unnecessary for the treatment. This proposal contains experiments aimed at testing the potential of encapsulated cells to produce –and secrete- clinically relevant levels of antibodies. If successful, encapsulated cells will deliver constant, sustained and functional antibodies, making antibody delivery cost-effective. This novel strategy could have applications in the treatment of medical conditions such as cancer and autoimmune diseases, which are already treated with monoclonal antibodies.
|Effective start/end date||6/1/17 → 12/31/20|