VivopureX™ Microgrant Winners Announced

At Absolute Antibody, we believe cutting-edge research deserves cutting-edge antibodies, which is why we offered microgrants to researchers interested in using our VivopureX™ line of recombinant engineered antibodies to power their research in live mouse models. Hopeful researchers submitted their grant proposals on the innovative ways they plan to use VivopureX™ antibodies, which were then judged by our promotional team based on how well the proposals utilized VivopureX™ antibodies, how unique and interesting the projects were, and their potential to expand knowledge in their respective fields of research. Preference was given to research projects that would not be possible using the original, hybridoma-derived formats of the antibodies due to immunogenicity and/or unsuitable effector function.

Figure 1. How VivopureX™ antibodies are engineered to enable optimal in vivo research.

We are excited to announce our winners of the VivopureX™ microgrants!

First Place: Combination Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

In first place is Dr. William A. Pastor-Freed, MD, PhD, instructor at Harvard Medical School and investigator and attending physician of medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Pastor-Freed and his team study pancreatic cancer treatment and plan to build upon their discovery that the combination immunotherapy TIGIT/PD-1/CD40a can reinvigorate an effective anti-tumor immune response, a preclinical work that used VivopureX™ anti-TIGIT antibodies (Freed-Pastor et al. Cancer Cell, 2021). The combination immunotherapy recently went into Phase Ib/II clinical trials.

This new project will use VivopureX™ anti-Ly6G antibodies to deplete granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in an in vivo mouse tumor microenvironment and test whether this depletion enhances the efficacy of TIGIT/PD-1/CD40a therapy. Swapping the species of the anti-Ly6G antibody from its original rat IgG2a format to mouse IgG2a unlocks this line of experimentation, as the syngeneic format reduces immunogenicity and enables sustained treatment in vivo over the course of the experiment. The researchers hope these findings will enable the design of next-generation clinical trials surrounding their combination immunotherapy approach. Dr. Freed-Pastor has been awarded $8,000 in VivopureX™ antibodies.

Second Place: Checkpoint Receptors for an Immunosuppression Target

In second place is Dr. Thorbald van Hall, PhD, professor of experimental tumor immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Dr. van Hall’s lab has been a contributor in the field of immunotherapy, and their newest line of research addresses immune checkpoint receptors for the HLA-E molecule, a key player in immunosuppression during pregnancy, transplantation and oncology. Dr. van Hall and his associated researchers will study the anti-tumor activities in HLA-E positive and HLA-E-negative live mouse models when treated with checkpoint blockade antibodies, including CTLA-4 and PD-1. The team also plans to explore the effect of depleting macrophages by CD115 antibodies.

Dr. van Hall is interested in VivopureX™ antibodies specifically, as they provide a species-swapped Fc tail for reduced immunogenicity and therefore better performance over a longer experimental timeframe when compared to the original species of antibody in live mice. “The response to CTLA-4 and PD-1 checkpoint blockade therapy is weak in these models and thus we depend on the optimal efficacy of mouse Fc tails that Absolute is offering,” Dr. van Hall wrote. His team has been awarded $6,000 in VivopureX™ antibodies.

We are excited to see how our antibodies enable in vivo research in these projects! If you are interested in recombinant engineered antibodies for your own research, explore our VivopureX™ range of antibodies optimized for in vivo use in mice. Benefits of VivopureX™ antibodies include reduced immunogenicity, sustained therapeutic effects in mice, reduced background staining, clinically relevant formats with tailored effector function, and industry-leading purity standards. For more information on how we can power your research in live mouse models, contact us! We are happy to help you find the right reagents and antibodies for your work.