With eleven therapeutic antibodies approved worldwide and many more in clinical trials, research on antibody engineering has continued to escalate and expand. This review covers recent progress in generation of antibodies by ex vivo methods, systems for screening these, and the quest for higher affinity, more stable, optimally biodistributed antibody fragments, especially for solid tumors. The latest developments in engineering antibodies for removal or enhancement of effector functions (antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), phagosytosis, complement fixation (CDC) and halflife) through protein alteration or carbohydrate optimization may now enable generation of superior antibody therapeutics. Antibody conjugates, including immunotoxins and immunocytokines, as well as multivalent and multispecific antibodies confer expanded utility of therapeutic antibodies. Finally, research into the IgA / FcαRI system has now provided an additional route to therapeutic antibodies.
Keywords: antibodies, clinical trials, optimally biodistributed antibody, phagosytosis, carbohydrate optimization, therapeutic antibodies, anti-cancer mabs, fusion proteins
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