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Improving of human fragment antibodies (scFvs) specific for animals' venoms

Grant number: 17/14035-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Eliane Candiani Arantes Braga
Grantee:Felipe Augusto Cerni
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):18/14158-9 - Improving of human fragment antibodies (scFvs) specific for animals' venoms, BE.EP.PD

Abstract

Accidents caused by venomous animals are classified as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Currently the specific treatment available for severe envenoming caused by venomous animals is the use of heterologous antivenoms. Although heterologous antivenoms are the only effective treatment available for severe envenoming, these sera present several documented undesirable problems: (i) Heterologous antivenoms can cause pyrogenic and anaphylactic reactions; (ii) Due to their heterologous nature, horse antibodies present in sera can act as antigens and activate the human immune system, resulting in the production of human anti-horse antibody antibodies; (iii) Most of these antibodies (70%) are not targeted to clinically relevant toxins, but directed against other exogenous antigens that the immunized animal encountered during its lifetime; (iv) Large numbers of heterologous antibodies combined with human anti-horse antibodies can result in high production of immunocomplexes, triggering serum sickness. Thus, in order to avoid all such problems, the most desirable alternative would be the production of fully human antibodies. The Laboratory of Molecular Immunopathology (LIM), under the responsibility of the physician and Dr. José Elpidio Barbosa, has been dedicating more than a decade to the production of antivenoms consisting of fragments of human antibodies. Using phage display technology, the present laboratory produced scFv (single-chain fragment variable) human antibodies to scorpion venoms - Serrumab (Tityus serrulatus), jararaca venoms - Bothrumab (Bothrops sp), rattlesnakes venoms - Crotumab (Crotalus durissus terrificus), surucucu venoms - Lachesumab (Lachesis muta), coral venoms - Micrurumab (Micrurus leminiscatus), and Africanized bee venoms - Afribumab. However, although they are already patented and/or are under the process of patenting, many of them need to be improved on their affinity and format before being included in a mixture of antivenoms, aiming at a future transfer of technology and availability in the pharmaceutical market. In this context, the present project will seek to improve affinity and optimize the format of Serrumab and Afribumab antibodies. Subsequently, the improved antibodies will be used in functional in vitro and in vivo functional assays. (AU)

Scientific publications (4)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PUCCA, MANUELA B.; CERNI, FELIPE A.; OLIVEIRA, ISADORA S.; JENKINS, TIMOTHY P.; ARGEMI, LIDIA; SORENSEN, CHRISTOFFER V.; AHMADI, SHIRIN; BARBOSA, JOSE E.; LAUSTSEN, ANDREAS H. Bee Updated: Current Knowledge on Bee Venom and Bee Envenoming Therapy. FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY, v. 10, SEP 6 2019. Web of Science Citations: 3.
PUCCA, MANUELA B.; CERNI, FELIPE A.; JANKE, RAHEL; BERMUDEZ-MENDEZ, ERICK; LEDSGAARD, LINE; BARBOSA, JOSE E.; LAUSTSEN, ANDREAS H. History of Envenoming Therapy and Current Perspectives. FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY, v. 10, JUL 10 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
OLIVEIRA, ISADORA S.; FERREIRA, ISABELA G.; ALEXANDRE-SILVA, GABRIEL M.; CERNI, FELIPE A.; CREMONEZ, CAROLINE M.; ARANTES, ELIANE C.; ZOTTICH, UMBERTO; PUCCA, MANUELA B. Scorpion toxins targeting Kv1.3 channels: insights into immunosuppression. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, v. 25, APR 15 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
ALEXANDRE-SILVA, GABRIEL M.; BRITO-SOUZA, PABLO A.; OLIVEIRA, ANA C. S.; CERNI, FELIPE A.; ZOTTICH, UMBERTO; PUCCA, MANUELA B. The hygiene hypothesis at a glance: Early exposures, immune mechanism and novel therapies. Acta Tropica, v. 188, p. 16-26, DEC 2018. Web of Science Citations: 5.

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