Antibody Engineering

After developing key methods to generate new antibodies,  we continue to generate and refine human monoclonal antibodies both by adding novel functions allowing new therapeutic paradigms and developing high-throughput in vitro antibody generation to substitute animal experiments.

We partner with academia and pharma in the generation of new drugs against cancer, autoimmune diseases and infections using our world leading antibody phage display systems, including a comprehensive naïve functional human antibody gene libraries covering the world's antibody repertoire.

The control of biochemical milieu during the in vitro selection step can be employed to predetermine antibody properties at the very moment of selection, e.g. to avoid cross reactivity or generating compatible sandwich pairs. Engineering of antibodies for novel applications like intracellular protein knockdowns, or allosteric switches for affinity modulation, complement the animal-free antibody generation pipelines.

Our 30+ years with phage display is further employed to create creative new methods for antigen and biomarker discovery, e.g. ORFeome and Metaproteome display.

It is further used for in vitro evolution to fine tune  various biochemical properties, like affinity, specificity or stability of proteins, or to adapt antibody properties to various applications, like biosensors or molecular machines.

Past or ongoing projects cover the following major topics, among others:

  • Animal-free generation of antibodies by phage display for research, diagnostics and therapy
  • Fully human anti-SARS-CoV2-antibodies against COVID-19
  • Antibodies that recognize difficult targets, conformations, small molecular differences
  • Discovery of antibodies against infectious pathogens, neutralizing antibodies against toxins and viruses
  • Improving antibody affinity and stability by in vitro evolution
  • Adapting antibody properties and formats to novel biosensors
  • Better understanding of antibody-antigen interactions, epitope, paratope and structure analysis 
  • Antibody fusion proteins: adding completely new biochemical functions to immunoglobulins
  • ORFeome Phage Display for the identification of novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers
  • Targeting the inside of cells: ER intrabodies and Sneaking Ligands
  • Tick vaccine development
  • Synthetic biology and molecular machines: e.g. allosteric switches for antibody affinity
  • Novel production methods for recombinant antibodies and fusion proteins
  • Protein engineering by in vitro evolution to improve properties

recent puclications on these topics

Textbook on Antibody Engineering (german language)

Crystal structure of a phage display-derived antibody against schizophyllan in complex with laminarihexaose (6EV2)

Sung, K.H., Josewski, J., Dübel, S., Blankenfeldt, W. & Rau, U. (2018) Structural insights into antigen recognition of an anti-beta-(1,6)-beta-(1,3)-D-glucan antibody. Scientific Reports 8,13652