“Protein–Antibody Conjugates (PACs)” – A combination of biologics and Antibody-Drug Conjugates

What is the News?

A team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Institute for Applied Life Sciences has developed a nanoparticle. This nanoparticle has the potential to revolutionize disease treatment including for cancer. The research is based on a method known as Protein–Antibody Conjugates or PACs.

What are Protein–Antibody Conjugates or PACs?
  • This is a new concept of combining two different approaches to drug delivery. Namely, Biological drugs and Antibody-Drug Conjugates(ADC).  Both these methods combined to produce Protein–Antibody Conjugate or PACs. This PAC can be used for targeted drug delivery.
  • Protein‐antibody conjugates(PACs) are used for antibody‐directed delivery of protein to specific cells.
  • This method ensures the precise and effective delivery of drugs to specific cells. Hence, this method could have an impact on treating diseases like pancreatic cancer.

What are biological drugs(biologics)?

  • A biologic drug (biologics) is a product that is produced from living organisms or contains components of living organisms. The composition may include sugars, proteins, or nucleic acids or complex combinations of these substances.
  • The biological drug works by targeting a defective protein in the system by delivering proteins to it.
    • For example in case of insulin treatment. If a person is short of insulin, (which is a protein), then s/he will get an insulin shot to balance the system.
How are Biologics different from conventional drugs?
  • Conventional Drugs are made from chemical processes to create the active ingredient compound in a traditional lab.
    • On the other hand, a biologics drug is defined as a drug derived from living cells. They are not chemically manufactured.
  • Conventional Drugs generally have well-defined chemical structures. On the other hand, biologics are complex mixtures that are not easily identified or characterized.
What are Antibody Drug Conjugates?
  • Antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs are a class of biopharmaceutical drugs designed as a targeted therapy for treating diseases like cancer.
  • Unlike chemotherapy, ADCs are intended to target and kill tumour cells while sparing healthy cells.

Note: Antibodies is a protective protein produced by the immune system in order to attack antigens. The antigen is a toxin or other foreign substances that induces an immune response in the body.

Source: The Hindu


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