Ghent, Belgium -- 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 systems 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 wheth
Contact: Sooike Stoops
VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology