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Deeptope: accelerating the development of therapeutic antibodies via high-throughput functional tests

​Deeptope, founded in February 2021 from a technology developed at the DMTS Laboratory of Cellular Immunology and Biotechnology (LICB), is a company of therapeutic antibody engineering that provides antibody optimization and characterization services to biotech or pharmaceutical firms with the goal of increasing the quality of antibodies in a very short timeframe.

Published on 29 November 2021

Therapeutic antibodies are antibodies produced by cells in culture to treat specific diseases. More than 30 monoclonal antibodies are marketed in France today for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, cancers, transplant rejection and, more recently, in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Deeptope uses a combination of technologies of Yeast Surface Display (YSD) coupled with flow cytometric cell sorting and high-throughput sequencing. This approach allows to i) replace each amino acid of a sequence (either an antibody or an antigen) by the 20 other amino acids and thus identify the residues involved in antigen/antibody (Ag/Ab) recognition; ii) express all the variants (each mono-mutant); iii) functionally correlate the impact of each mutation on the Ag/Ab interaction. The data produced allows the fine characterization of antibody binding modes in a very short time (4 to 6 weeks), i.e. the mapping of epitopes (recognition zone on the antigen) and paratopes (amino acids of the antibody involved in the interaction). These data are then used to select mutations in order to optimize the functional properties of the antibodies in terms of affinity, selectivity, cross-reactivity between species, humanization, de-immunization, specificity, selectivity and stability.

 Contacts :

 Raphaël Sierocki (co-founder, scientific director) ;
 Bernard Maillère (head of the LICB laboratory at CEA)

The Laboratory of Cellular Immunology and Biotechnology (LICB/SIMoS/DMTS) of the Joliot Institute has made research on the mechanisms of immunogenicity and the optimization of therapeutic antibodies its main area of expertise, with the aim of producing effective and low immunogenic antibodies. It is directed by Bernard Maillère.

Raphaël Sierocki defended in January 2020 his PhD thesis from the Paris-Saclay University entitled "Design and characterization of non-immunogenic antibodies: application to an anti-Salmonella/Shigella antibody", which he performed under the supervision of Hervé Nozac'h (team leader at the LICB), Bernard Maillère (head of the LICB/DMTS) and Stéphanie Simon (head of the LERI/DMTS).

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