A new method for simultaneously measuring blood concentrations in therapeutic antibodies of a drug and their immunogenicity, or the production by the immune system of antibodies against the drug itself: this is the focus of a study published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’, in which Humanitas also participated.

The research, coordinated by the Mario Negri IRCCS Institute for Pharmacological Research, was also carried out by the Careggi University Hospital in Florence.

The knowledge of the blood concentrations of the drug and its immunogenicity, different from patient to patient, can help the doctor to improve the therapy: for this reason are necessary methods of reliable analysis.

The published study

The new method – presented in the study entitled “A Surface Plasmon Resonance-based assay to measure serum concentrations of therapeutic antibodies and anti-drug antibodies” – is an original application of the technology called ‘surface plasmonic resonance’, in which the antibodies of interest are ‘captured’ by a microchip that acts as a bio-sensor. This allows fast and accurate measurement of antibodies, with important advantages over traditional methods.

“The method has been developed to measure concentrations of infliximab, an antibody used for chronic inflammatory diseases, and corresponding anti-infliximab antibodies, but it is also applicable to other therapeutic antibodies, such as trastuzumab, an antitumor drug,” said Marco Gobbi, head of the Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics Laboratory of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research IRCCS.

The use of monoclonal antibodies for pharmacological use is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the properties of these molecules, capable of interacting in a very targeted manner with their target in the body.

“The data show significant differences between patients treated with Infliximab, both for levels of drug in the blood and for immunogenicity – explained Dr. Gionata Fiorino, of the Operating Unit of Gastroenterology of Humanitas -. The knowledge of these data for each patient during treatment can allow the doctor to customize and improve the therapy, with benefits for both the patient and the National Health Service.