Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) consist of proteins and the function of all proteins depends on the right folding. So to make effective mAbs — for therapy or as a research tool — scientists need a way to analyze the folding. In addition, how proteins unfold or form aggregates can also affect their function. With mAbs, improper folding can dramatically affect the development of new therapeutics or treatments.
Prometheus analyzes the thermal unfolding of proteins, plus any chemical degradation. This platform helps scientists see when a protein unfolds and aggregates and those changes can teach scientists about the causes of disease and how to treat them. For example, in 2017, 9 of 46 U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approvals were mAbs. Plus in 2018, the FDA approved mAbs to treat leukemia, psoriasis and other conditions. So as you can see, mAbs are becoming a crucial form of medicine.
With this in mind, scientists from Boehringer Ingelheim have reported that they’ve identified and characterized candidates for mAb-based therapies. To do so, they used Prometheus to analyze the thermal unfolding and chemical denaturation of proteins as well as monitor aggregation propensity. Within just a few hours, the scientists were able to determine the stability of these therapeutics using Prometheus NT.Plex — instead of running their typical 17-month defined process. With the strong correlations of the results between the two methods, they were able to save time, money, and lab resources by using Prometheus.