Producing Antibodies That Mimic T-Cell Receptors to Aid in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

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Dr. Jon Weidanz
Dr. Weidanz has over 20 years of experience in biotechnology research with emphasis in immunology, immunotherapy and immunodiagnostic product development, especially as these disciplines relate to oncology and the development of products to diagnose and treat cancer. His work has been funded from the NIH, DOD and American Heart Association. He is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Receptor Logic, Inc., and most recently served as its President. His other duties include serving as: 1) Chairman for the Department of Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology, 2) Director for the Center for Immunotherapeutic Research and Product Development, and 3) a tenured Professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). He received the President's Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award for his innovative classroom instruction TTUHSC.
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Dr. Ulrich Bickel
Dr. Bickel joined the department in 1999. He received his education from the Medical School at University of Ulm (Germany) and was awarded the Doctor of Medicine degree (1985). Completing a residency at Benjamin Franklin University Clinic (Berlin, Germany) he was board certified in Clinical Pharmacology (1991). Dr. Bickel then focused on blood-brain barrier research, working with Dr. William M. Pardridge (Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles) as a Visiting Scientist on a stipend from the German Research Foundation (1991-1994) and in his own lab at Philipps-University, Marburg (1994-1999). Dr. Bickel has been regularly invited to present at international meetings including Gordon Research Conferences. At Texas Tech, his lab has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Heart Association, and the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program. He serves as reviewer on NIH study sections and for pharmacological/pharmaceutical journals.
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David McClure
Director Licensing 806-834-5899
Patent Protection

TCR Mimic Antibodies as Vascular Targeting Tools

US Patent Pending US 20140134191 A1

The invention relates to a method of producing antibodies that recognize peptides associated with a tumorigenic or disease state, wherein the peptides are displayed in the context of HLA molecules.  These antibodies will mimic the specificity of a T-cell receptor such that the molecules may be used as therapeutic, diagnostic and research agents. 

Market Applications:

This new drug can be used for a variety of applications.  The invention is directed to identifying unique target molecules on endothelial cells which outline all blood vessels.  These cells may be targets for drug therapy.  Endothelial cells may also form an obstacle in vascular drug delivery approaches so the drug allows doctors to identify cell surface targets and develop highly effective antibodies to treat them. This in turn allows for a faster diagnosis and healing time in various types of cancers such as colon, glioblastomal, and lung. There is a competitor in the market, but with much more serious side effects such as gastrointestinal perforation and internal bleeding, which this invention does not have.

Features, Benefits & Advantages:

  •  Decreased side effects mean less worry for the patient and allow for fast, accurate diagnosis of factors that contribute to cancerous cell growth.
  • Vascular targeting in general and targeting the endothelium of the blood brain barrier is a new application for TCRms. Currently, no truly specific vascular targets exist. Bevacizumab targets angiogenesis, but no vectors are available for specific targeting of normal or inflamed vascular beds.

Development Stage:

Currently, studies are in progress to show pharmacological effect.