Developing antibody-based drugs is a complex and time-consuming process. Scientists harvest antibodies from mice that have been injected with the target antigen. They then try to optimize the molecules by growing them in yeast and searching for random mutations that make the antibody bind to its target more tightly.
A computer program developed at MIT could vastly improve the design of antibody drugs. The software identified improvements in the anticancer drug cetuximab that increased its binding affinity by a factor of 10 in subsequent laboratory tests--a change that could lead to lower drug dosages and increased drug efficacy.
Technology Review: Computers Boost Antibody-Based Drugs
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