Q_and_A_IconCambridge Healthtech Institute’s Kent Simmons recently spoke with Dr. Danlin Yang, a Scientist in the Biotherapeutics Discovery group at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, about her upcoming presentation “Utilities of Biosensor Platforms in Antibody Discovery”, to be delivered in the Enhancing Antibody Binding and Specificity meeting at the 2018 Peptalk event.

Utilities of Biosensor Platforms in Antibody Discovery

Q. What is the role of label-free optical biosensors in the industry?

The acquisition of reliable kinetic parameters for characterizing antibody-antigen interactions is an essential component of the drug discovery and development process. Label-free optical biosensors are powerful tools in drug discovery for the characterization of biomolecular interactions, with applications ranging from the low-resolution affinity screening of antibody supernatants, to the rigorous, high-resolution kinetic constant determinations of purified antibodies, as well as the classification of antibody binding epitopes via epitope binning studies. The availability of high-quality binding data enables the early selection of criteria-meeting drug candidates and provides crucial information for pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling in the design of clinical dosing strategies.

Q. What kinds of biosensor platforms are available at Boehringer Ingelheim and how are they different?

In early drug discovery, BI has four routinely used biosensor platforms: the Biacore T200, ProteOn XPR36, Octet RED384, and IBIS MX96. These instruments, which make up a portion of BI’s biosensor instrument portfolio, differ in either the design of microfluidic channel configurations and/or the optical principles in the detection of bimolecular interactions. Examples include the 6 × 6 crisscross microfluidics configuration in Bio-Rad's ProteOn XPR36, the 96-microarray printing by the Continuous Flow Microspotter (CFM) in Wasatch Microfluidics's IBIS MX96, and the BioLayer Interferometry (BLI) optical detection technique in ForteBio's Octet RED384 that is coupled to a 384-well high-throughput format. In comparison to the traditional Biacore platform T200, these instruments have demonstrated significant throughput improvements.

Q. Why is it important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different biosensor systems?

To meet the growing demand of antibody-based products for various therapeutic indications, a wide variety of innovative biosensor instruments have been developed in recent years that increase the efficiency of candidate identification and characterization. To determine the most appropriate instrument for research purposes, it is important to understand the effect of instrumental performance on data quality and variability, including the strengths and weaknesses of each biosensor platform, placing an emphasis on data consistency, comparability, and operational efficiency.

Speaker Biography:

Danlin_YangDanlin Yang, Ph.D., Scientist, Biophysics, Biotherapeutics Discovery, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

I have a B.AS. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada, a M.S. in Biotechnology from Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden, and I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of New Hampshire in the U.S. I joined the Biotherapeutics Discovery CMC/Biophysics group at Boehringer Ingelheim in late 2010, and shortly after decided to pursue a Ph.D. while maintaining my full-time position at the company. Under the guidance of my Ph.D. advisor Dr. Tom Laue, my thesis work focuses on investigating the influence of IgG subclasses and macromolecular cooperativity in structure, stability, and assembly using a variety of biophysical methods. Simultaneously, while working at BI, my core responsibilities have revolved around antibody candidate identification, selection, and characterization from early discovery to development stage on a variety of therapeutic indications, leading to the advancement of candidates into clinical development.

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