MIT computer model designs better therapies

Researchers at MIT have developed a computer model which they say can rev up the effectiveness of an antibody-based therapy. And it's not just a theory. They say that they have used the model to design a new form of cetuximab (Erbitux)--a therapy for colorectal cancer--that is 10 times better at binding to its target than the original molecule. The model reviews potential amino-acid substitutions, looking for ways to build a structure with greater binding properties. The scientists say that better protein modeling can also reduce the cost of developing the drugs.

"New and better methods for improving antibody development represent critical technologies for medicine and biotechnology," says MIT Professor Dane Wittrup.

- see this release from MIT
- here's a report on the new model