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Bispecific, diagnostic antibodies for enhanced detection of dimerized or phosphorylated oncoproteins

Cell culture studies suggest bispecific antibodies specific for dimerized or phosphorylated proteins could be used in cancer diagnostics. In cultured, ligand-stimulated human breast cancer cells, antibodies targeting HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu) and epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (EGFR3; HER3; ErbB3) that were fused by peptide or DNA linkers led to staining of HER2-HER3 dimers, whereas unlinked, monovalent antibodies did not. In formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast cancer cells, an antibody recognizing both a phosphorylated and an unphosphorylated epitope of HER3 increased detection sensitivity and decreased cross-reactivity compared with monovalent antibodies. Next steps include further optimizing assay sensitivity and applicability to human tissue samples and extending the assay to additional cancer targets.

SciBX 7(11); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.326
Published online March 20, 2014

Patent applications filed; available for licensing

van Dieck, J. et al. Chem. Biol.; published online Feb. 13, 2014;
Contact: Michael Tacke, Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Penzberg, Germany