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A high-throughput single-cell technology for the function-based discovery of monoclonal antibody antagonists of G-protein coupled receptors in cancer

Carl Hansen

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Funding source

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Antibodies are proteins that are naturally made by the body to fight infections and disease. The immune system is capable of making an immense diversity of different antibodies, each able to recognize and eliminate a specific target (e.g. a virus, bacteria, protein, cancer cell...). Like a lock and key, antibodies have the unique ability to specifically recognize and bind one, and only one, target. In addition to their central role in immunity, this amazing specificity also makes antibodies an extremely effective class of drugs that can be used for targeted therapies with improved effectiveness and minimal side effects. For this reason, antibody-based drugs are currently the fastest growing class of therapeutic and are being used in the treatment of many diseases including cancer, autoimmune disorders, inflammation, and infection. However, finding antibodies with desired therapeutic properties remains one of the most serious obstacles to advancing new therapies. In this project, we will develop a new technology that dramatically increases the speed and efficiency of finding antibodies that are suitable for drug development. We will apply this technology to discover new antibodies that block biological signals that drive growth and metastasis in cancer.

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