CHEMISTRY: Recruiting antibodies to fight disease, with David A. Spiegel

Tuesday, November 9th, 8:30 am
David A. Spiegel

Antibodies make excellent drugs for such things as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, but they can’t be taken as a pill, and they can cause life-threatening immune or allergic responses, only making matters worse. Spiegel has a work-around. He is developing antibody recruiters that can induce a patient’s own antibodies to attack illnesses such as prostate cancer, Staph aureus infections, and HIV. The idea is to exploit the advantages of antibody treatments while using these recruiters to overcome the disadvantages. Spiegel’s molecules are cheaper than antibodies, easy to take by mouth, and easy to synthesize. The research could, Spiegel hopes, “serve as a starting point toward entirely novel therapeutic approaches to a wide range of diseases.”