Foundation review: the future of antibodies as cancer drugs

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Targeted therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have proven successful as cancer drugs. To profile products that could be marketed in the future, Janice M. Reichert and Eugen Dhimolea examined the current commercial clinical pipeline of mAb candidates for cancer.

Their analysis revealed trends toward development of a variety of non-canonical mAbs, including antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), bispecific antibodies, engineered antibodies and antibody fragments and/or domains. They found substantial diversity in the antibody sequence source, isotype, carbohydrate residues, targets and mechanisms of action (MOA). Although well-validated targets, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and CD20, continue to provide opportunities for companies, they found notable trends toward targeting less-well-validated antigens and exploration of innovative MOA such as the generation of anticancer immune responses or recruitment of cytotoxic T cells.

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