While antibodies have become the darlings of the biotech industry based on their short development timelines and specificity, they can be expensive to manufacture and have certain limitations based on their characteristics. As proteins, they are destroyed by the human digestive system. Their relatively large size also limits them from entering cells or passing into the brain.

Martin Poehlchen, CEO of Pieris Proteolab AG, thinks the company's Anticalin technology could be the basis for a third generation of protein therapeutics that are more versatile and easier to manufacture.