I especially liked this bit:
Affimers are an antibody alternative, engineered to overcome the problems that have limited researchers. They are highly stable, biochemically inert offering rapid production of highly specific binding proteins in in vitro systems they are not limited by the immune repertoire. The development of Affimers finally opens up the required toolkit for proteomic researchers to target the proteome with a comprehensive set of affinity reagents that may enable scientists to elucidate protein function and identify key protein–protein interactions that are involved in disease states, thus providing critical links between our vast stores of genomic data and the urgent need for new therapeutics.
Which I translate into a very brief laymans type summary, to be something like:
"all the previous limitations on availability and lead times of antibodies are removed taking off the shackles borne by drug development companies since the beginning of time"
If these "Affirmers" do indeed do what they say on the tin, they open up a whole new era for all researchers and drug developers. Truly transformational.
I wonder what the research community thinks about the potential of Affimers.
The field seems to have been taken over by the commercial world with Actava Life Sciences handling the non-therapeutic side and Promexus handling the exploitation of the therapeutic possibilities.
Since the use of anti-bodies to target the oligomerisation and aggregation of misfolder alph-synuclein is flavour of the month, it would seem that Affimers are potentially a highly useful weapon for stopping disease progression too.
Can someone from the Research team comment on this? (With references to relevant papers if possible.)
Thanks for this link it was very interesting.
I discussed this with Arthur, our Director of Research and Innovation. We think this is one of a number of a potential future antibody replacements that researchers have been searching for for a number of years. Their reproducability, specificity and cost will obviously have an impact on how widely they are used but, at least on the company website, they look promising. At the moment there is a lack of papers using affimers compared to antibodies to be able to investigate their properties more (sorry droflet).
Like antibodies, if affimers could get into the brain and bind to Parkinson's related proteins (like alpha-synuclein or protein involved in inflammation) they may have a role in therapy. Although we don't yet know how the body will react to them or if they will elicit an immune response. They look promising but more research is needed.
The Research Team
Thanks, Beckie, for that full reply.
I wonder whether it would be appropropriate for Progress to carry a review article about progress in this field of 'neutralising', for want of a better word, aberrant alpha-synuclein. It would be worth bringing the readership's attention to the focus that it is currently receiving and an explanation of the background in accessible language would be good.
Thanks Beckie - a close family member studies BioChemistry and discussed the possibilities for such technologies - her line of research is more Stem Cell related, but she seeemd genuinely excited at the possibilities Affirmers might offer in the drug development arena.