The next level in therapeutic antibody discovery

ALADDIN (Accelerated Discovery Nanobody Platform) is a research project funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC). Our principal goal is to develop and bring to the market a platform that improves the generation and identification of therapeutic nanobodies and their preclinical validation for human cancer.

Upgrading a groundbreaking medical innovation

ALADDIN helps in turning the market and medical potential of therapeutic antibodies into reality.

Specific targeting of disease

Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antibody-derived molecules are widely used in drug development, as they can target disease-related molecules such as cancer. Their market potential is expected to grow massively in the upcoming years.

Tedious and timely process

However, the discovery of therapeutic antibodies is currently time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient. In addition, the process requires advanced skills, equipment, and is highly dependent on experimental animals.

Towards an integrated innovation

At ALADDIN, we develop a platform that replicates the key features of the immune system, with the goal of accelerating the discovery of therapeutic advanced antibodies and their preclinical validation for human cancer.

The ALADDIN approach

Key steps for unleashing the potential of therapeutic antibodies

Nanobodies are fragments of antibodies consisting of a single antibody domain. Originally discovered in camelids, nanobodies’ small size, simple structure, stability, and capacity to bind specifically to antigens make them efficient for therapeutic purposes. ALADDIN will improve the workflow for the discovery of therapeutic antibodies by:

Target Identification

Guided by mathematical models, we identify novel therapeutic targets from samples of patients with pancreatic and colorectal cancers.

Antibody Discovery

We introduce a process called affinity maturation, in which the immune system generates antibodies in response to antigens, in bacterial cells holding antibody fragments, i.e. nanobodies.

Optimisation

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), we identify where the antibodies bind on their therapeutic targets and improve this process. We also develop affordable, miniaturised microfluidics devices for selecting antibodies from bacteria.

Preclinical Validation

We conduct in vivo testing in zebrafish to validate the functioning of the antibodies against the therapeutic tumour targets. We use mathematical models to extract clinical and efficacy data of the therapeutic nanobody candidates.

The ALADDIN platform makes therapeutic antibody discovery faster, less expensive, less laborious, more automated and this way less prone to human errors, and more ethical as it replaces experimentation with higher vertebrates with zebrafish.

This project has received funding from the EIC Pathfinder programme 2023 of the European Innovation Council (EIC) under Grant Agreement#101130574. This result only reflects the author’s view, and the EU is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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