The human immune response is the first line of defense against invading pathogens and abnormal cells, with two distinct systems—innate and adaptive immunity—working together to maintain health. B cells are a key element in the adaptive immune system response because they produce specific, high-affinity antibodies that can bind directly to pathogens or cancer cells. Once the B cells generate antibodies directed at antigens on a specific invader, they mark those invading cells for destruction, acting as a signal beacon to alert other immune cells. By leveraging information directly from the human immune system, we believe that we can develop more effective antibody-based treatments to fight against cancer.
Cataloging the Context-Dependent B cell Response against Cancer
- Cancer cells modify their microenvironment to make it fertile ground for tumor growth
- The human immune system makes a coordinated, time-dependent, attack against cancer in the context of that modified environment
- T cell response has been the focus of drug development efforts in recent time. Clinical unmet need, however, remains high
- Memory B cells record the targets that are identified as important attack points for antibodies across the course of tumor development
- This immune response is cataloged by the Discovery Engine
Immunome Discovery Engine
The Immunome Discovery Engine identifies novel therapeutic antibodies and their antigen targets by leveraging highly educated memory B cells from patients who have learned to fight off their disease. The engine discovers innovative antibody-target pairs using an unbiased, broad, deep and efficient approach, as we are able to:
- Capture a large number (typically thousands) of patient-derived memory B cells and convert them into stable human hybridomas.
- Interrogate each individual antibody produced by memory B cells against mixtures of disease-related antigens by screening of up to 20,000 antibodies in a single experiment.
- Simultaneously identify relevant, potentially-novel public antigen targets and antibodies that bind to them with high affinity.
- Utilize an unbiased approach that spotlights biological processes of disease relevance, guided by the human immune response.
- Potential to efficiently discover therapeutics for use beyond oncology and infectious diseases.
Immunome’s research is yielding interesting targets in the oncology and anti-infective spaces. In addition to our internal development programs, our platform has, and we believe will continue to, enable partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and universities to develop new treatments that will significantly impact human health.
For more information on the types of targets our Discovery Engine identifies, click here.