Bispecific antibodies

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Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) combine the functionality of two antibodies in one molecule. Two bsAb-drugs are currently on the market (one recently approved) and more are in clinical development. Driven by large pharma, bsAbs are emerging as next-generation biologics.

Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) combine specificities of two antibodies and simultaneously address different antigens or epitopes. BsAbs with ‘twotarget’functionality can interfere with multiple surface receptors or ligands associated, for example with cancer, proliferation or inflammatory processes.BsAbs canalsoplace targets intocloseproximity, either tosupport protein complex formation on one cell, or to trigger contacts between cells. Examples of ‘forced-connection’ functionalities are bsAbs that support protein complexation in the clotting cascade, or tumor-targeted immune cell recruiters and/or activators. Following years of research and development (R&D), the first bsAb was approved in 2009. Another bsAb entered the market in December 2014 and several more are in clinical trials. Here, we describe the potentials of bsAbs to become the next wave of antibody-based therapies, focusing on molecules in clinical development.

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