Technology SummaryA-Cube is the technology leader in identifying B-cell epitopes, the binding sites for antibodies, e.g., monoclonal antibodies and neutralizing antibodies. A-Cube's proprietary algorithms RAD (Rational Antigen Design) and R-RAD (Reverse RAD) were developed by founder, Dr. Nobuyuki Ota, and exploit 3-dimensional (3D) protein structures to provide comprehensive B-cell epitope maps with the following applications:
1. Therapeutic Antibodies: With A-Cube’s technology, new therapeutic antibodies can be generated against clinically validated targets. These could be valuable assets for pharmaceutical partners to complement their own IP estate, or be used to design bi-specific or oligo-antibodies. A-Cube is currently working on PCSK9 inhibiting antibodies.
2. De-immunized Protein Therapeutics: The FDA is recognizing that chronic administration of therapeutic proteins may lead to the development of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies (i.e., anti-drug antibodies, ADAs), even if the protein (or therapeutic antibody) is of human origin. ADAs can be responsible for termination of therapy or side effects. A-Cube’s B-cell epitope mapping technology allows for proteins to be de-immunized by removal of B-cell epitopes via selective point mutations at de-immunization sites. A-Cube is currently using this novel application on Factor VIII and a variety of Enzyme Replacement Therapies, all proteins known to induce ADAs in medical practice.
3. Rational Vaccine Design: Antibodies are critical for protection against pathogens. Current vaccine technologies are inadequate for many diseases, especially for rapidly evolving infectious diseases, due to limited strain and antigen coverage. Using A-Cube’s technology to identify B-cell epitopes, it is now possible to combine B-cell epitopes from many antigens, pathogens and/or strains in one DNA vaccine. We are using our technology to develop a vaccine against ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli), which causes 500,000 annual deaths in the developing world and is the leading cause of travellers’ diarrhea, and also to develop a universal influenza vaccine