Abbott Scientists Create One Molecule With Two Antibody Functions

    First Combination of Large Molecules to Show Drug-like Properties and
    Manufacturing Feasibility

    ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Oct. 18 /CNW/ -- Abbott (NYSE:   ABT) reported today
that its scientists are the first to discover a proprietary technology that
combines the function and specificity of two or more monoclonal antibodies
(mAbs) into one molecular entity that demonstrates drug-like properties and
manufacturing feasibility.  These molecules, called dual-variable domain Ig
will allow for development of individual drug candidates that target multiple
disease-causing molecules in various therapeutic categories.
    Published online earlier this week in Nature Biotechnology
(, this
landmark study demonstrates a completely new platform that may be relevant to
cancer, autoimmune diseases and other complicated conditions in which multiple
disease-mediators are at play.  Simultaneous blockage of multiple targets
using DVD-Ig agents may increase efficacy in comparison to inhibition of a
single target using a mAb.
    "Combining the specificity of two or more antibodies into one drug has
been a significant challenge for researchers looking at next generation
biologic therapies," said Abbott Scientists Chengbin Wu, Ph.D. and Tariq
Ghayur, Ph.D., who designed the DVD-Ig molecules and led the research team.
"Abbott's approach is remarkably versatile and efficient in creating a single
molecular entity with drug-like properties and the ability to target multiple
disease mediators.  We are very excited about the doors this opens in drug
development across a range of therapeutic areas."
    The process of combining two or more mAbs involves the use of molecular
biology techniques, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to link the
regions (variable domains) of two different antibodies that target specific
disease-causing molecules.  The resulting molecule has two different (dual)
variable domains, each of which targets a different disease-causing antigen.
    While other public and private research programs have endeavored to
combine two antibodies into one entity, the results have been limited by poor
pharmacokinetics, stability and manufacturing feasibility.
    Addressing only one disease target with a traditional mAb can result in
limited efficacy because the disease can progress on multiple levels.  For
example, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) distinct disease mediators (mechanisms)
contribute towards various aspects of the disease such as inflammation,
angiogenesis, pannus formation (thickened layers of granulation tissue) and
bone and cartilage erosion.  Therefore, targeting two or more disease
mechanisms in RA may show far greater efficacy than targeting a single
    Using the DVD-Ig technology, research teams at Abbott have already
created a single drug candidate that targets multiple disease components, one
of which is TNF-alpha, a well-established target in RA.  Preclinical
evaluation of this drug candidate is underway.
    Abbott's DVD-Ig approach has distinct technological, scientific and drug
development advantages compared to mAbs and to previous efforts to create a
multi-specific antibody.  The approach is compatible with any antibody,
including humanized mAbs, fully-human mAbs and chimeric mAbs, and can
potentially be extended beyond antibodies to receptor proteins and other,
similar molecules.  DVD-Ig drugs also may have improved efficacy because they
target multiple disease-causing molecules, and can address redundant disease
processes, in which two different molecules have the same disease-causing
    Abbott has completed technology validation on the DVD-Ig program, and is
currently confirming process development and manufacturing for the technology
platform.  Concurrently, preclinical work has been conducted on a variety of
combinations at Abbott to date.
    About Abbott
    Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the
discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and
medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.  The
company employs 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130

For further information:

For further information: media, Laura Weber, +1-847-936-3708, or 
financial, Lawrence Peepo, +1-847-935-6722, both of Abbott Web Site:

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