Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New technology makes clinical research more precise

The Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and AlgoNomics have joined forces to develop a technology that verifies whether certain proteins induce an immune response in humans.

The collaboration between VIB and AlgoNomics has yielded a biological test that supplements the current computer simulations. The additional data enable a more precise determination of the immune response. This knowledge is important for the development of new medicines, because it indicates that a new therapeutic substance is ready to be tested on humans.

T-cells, essential agents of our immune system

The immune system is our defense against foreign intruders, such as viruses and bacteria. It reacts against everything that it recognizes as ‘foreign to the body’ - but, therefore, it might also react against certain substances that researchers want to develop into therapeutic drugs. An important trigger of the immune system’s response is the activation of T-cells, a particular type of white blood cell. The T-cells produce cytokines, substances that signal the other cells of the immune system to take action.

Developing therapeutic proteins

In the development of new therapeutic proteins, it is extremely important to know whether or not the proteins induce an immune response. When you suspect that a certain substance has a therapeutic effect, it must not be destroyed by your immune system, or induce other immune responses, because you want the substance to be able to do its beneficial work.

On the other hand, when developing a vaccine, you do want it to induce an immune response - that is, a reaction that does not make you sick but that protects you against future contact with the disease that the vaccine combats.

Epibase, an ‘in silico’ test

For quite some time now, AlgoNomics has been offering Epibase to companies that are developing therapeutic proteins and that want to know whether their product induces an immune response. On the basis of a sophisticated computer program, Epibase can predict whether or not a particular protein will trigger the activation of T-cells. The technology can do this for all proteins, whether they originate from humans or from another biological source, such as a virus or a cancer cell. The marvelous thing about Epibase is that it can also do this for proteins for which little or no experimental data are available. Other technologies require at least a minimum of data to predict whether a substance induces an immune response or not. Epibase has already been used for the development of a variety of therapeutic proteins and is currently the biotech industry standard. In contrast to other ‘in silico’ platforms, Epibase provides greater precision and can predict immune response in Asian and South American populations as well.

A more complete test

Upon the request of AlgoNomics, VIB scientists connected with Ghent University, under the direction of Johan Grooten, have designed a biological test that supplements the Epibase assessments with certain experimental data. The test exposes blood cells - which include T-cells - to the proteins under study. If the proteins being investigated induce an immune response, the T-cells will become active and produce cytokines. In this new test, the activity of the T-cells is measured by determining the quantity of cytokines that are produced.

The new test allows scientists to examine a biological system to see whether a substance induces an immune response. For the step to a clinical phase (and thus tests on humans), the experimental and ‘in silico’ data are both needed to assess the risk of inducing an immune response. Thanks to the collaboration between VIB and AlgoNomics, it is now possible to generate all the data by means of a single test - an artful combination of ‘in silico’ and ‘in vitro’ work.

Sooike Stoops | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: AlgoNomics Epibase T-Cells immune immune response induce silico’ therapeutic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>