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Antibody Gene Therapy: Getting Closer to Clinical Application?

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 4 ]


Irene Guijarro-Munoz, Marta Compte, Luis Alvarez-Vallina and Laura Sanz   Pages 282 - 290 ( 9 )


Monoclonal antibodies are successfully used in the clinic. However, repeated high-dose bolus injections imply high costs. As an alternative to recombinant protein administration, gene therapy may provide a novel mean for systemic delivery of monoclonal antibodies. This strategy has been used in preclinical studies of a wide variety of pathological conditions, including cancer, infectious diseases, drug addiction, retinal neovascularisation and Alzheimer’s disease. The two main gene therapy approaches are based on direct gene delivery (using viral or non-viral vectors) or on inoculation of ex vivo genetically modified cells (autologous or allogenic). Viral vectors are highly efficient as gene delivery vehicles and have been tested in numerous clinical trials, but still raise concerns about safety and limitation of the therapeutic effect due to immune responses against viral antigens. On the other hand, use of standard non-viral vectors has been limited by their low transduction efficiency. Practical application of ex vivo genetically modified cells would imply the availability of stocks of “ready-to-use” gene-modified allogenic cells that should be protected from the host immune system. Actually, this field did not meet the expectation raised initially, mainly because of difficulties with obtaining sustained therapeutic plasma levels in animal models. However, this situation is changing rapidly and the therapeutic potential of these approaches is getting closer to clinical applications. This review focuses on the current achievements in preclinical studies, as well as the challenges and future prospects of antibody gene therapy.


Antibody, cell factory, gene therapy, immunotherapy, viral vector.


Molecular Immunology Unit, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, Joaquin Rodrigo 2, 28222 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

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