This is a novel platform technology that can be used to expedite the development of nanobodies for therapeutic and diagnostic applications by avoiding the need for animal immunization.
Nanobodies are single-domain antibodies derived from camelids (llamas, camels, and their relatives). They have several favorable pharmacological properties compared to conventional antibodies such as lower molecular weight, ease of recombinant expression, and high chemical stability. However, nanobodies discovered to date have been derived from immunization of camelids, which is invariably time-consuming, expensive, and unreliable in quality. As described in a recent paper (Nature, 2018) the Kruse lab at Harvard Medical School has developed a novel discovery platform based on a diverse fully-synthetic nanobody library coupled with a yeast display expression system for highly efficient screening and identification of quality nanobody binders to desired targets.
This platform has been used to identify nanobodies targeting different types of antigens, including challenging GPCR-targeting nanobodies, with nanomolar or subnanomolar affinities, and has the potential to reduce the discovery process from months to two weeks.
The Kruse lab is interested in a collaboration to use this new platform to discover novel nanobodies for therapeutic applications, especially in disease areas with unmet medical needs and could benefit from biologics that have superior pharmacological properties.