The University of Cambridge has announced a licensing agreement with Human-Human Hybridoma, Inc. (3H) to exploit a human myeloma cell line (Karpas-707H) that can be used in research and for the production of human monoclonal antibodies. The cell line has the potential to immortalise most of the antibodies the human body produces to fight infections, cancer, AIDS and other pathological conditions.
Dr Abraham Karpas in the University's Department of Haematology has spent 20 years developing a human myeloma cell line that can give rise to stable human hybridomas capable of producing human monoclonal antibodies.
In the past scientists could produce only mouse monoclonal antibodies, which cannot be used for immunotherapy without being humanised as they provoke an immune reaction by the human’s body.
Human-Human Hybridoma, Inc. (3H) is a newly established biotechnology company located in Maryland. The Company's goal is to commercialise breakthrough human-human hybridoma technology for the discovery of monoclonal antibody technology developed in the laboratory of Dr Karpas.
Dr Jian Ni, Chairman of Human-Human Hybridoma Inc. enthuses:
“My Ph.D. supervisor, Dr Abraham Karpas , has invented a process with the potential to produce any type of human antibody in the test-tube after more than 20 years of painstaking work. This process could produce antibodies for use in research and diagnosis, and also therapeutic antibodies, which could benefit people suffering from infectious diseases, cancers and perhaps even autoimmune disorders. We are very excited in working with Dr Karpas to realise the potential this exciting new technology holds for the creation of novel therapeutics which will benefit patients.”
Dr Karpas’ research followed the earlier discovery by Cesar Milstein and Georges Kohler at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. In 1975 Milstein and Kohler using mouse myeloma cells invented the hybridoma technique for the production of monoclonal antibodies, a discovery for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1984.
Dr David Secher, Director of Research Services at the University of Cambridge said:
“This agreement between the University of Cambridge Human-Human Hybridoma, will continue research that started nearly 30 years ago by Nobel Prize winners Cesar Milstein and Georges Kohler to generate human antibodies. The potential applications for this technology are vast and will hopefully bring about new treatments for a number of human diseases.”