Historically, monoclonal antibodies have been directed to circulating antigens or targets on the surface of cells. Last week's deal between KS Biomedix Holdings Plc and Eukarion Inc. raises the possibility that an antibody lipidation process will make it possible to internalize MAbs to hit intracellular targets.

Eukarion (Bedford, Mass.) has developed the lipidation technology, which changes the pharmacokinetic properties of an antibody without diminishing the antibody's affinity for its target, according to CEO Bernard Malfroy. The company adds lipids to carbohydrates away from the binding domain of the antibody, making it possible for the MAb to cross capillary bilayers and cell membranes.