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Exploring the targeted delivery of biopharmaceuticals enabled by glycosylation control

Final Report Summary - GLYCOTARGET (Exploring the targeted delivery of biopharmaceuticals enabled by glycosylation control.)

The GlycoTarget ERC Consolidator project (PI: Prof. Dr. Nico Callewaert; host institution: VIB-UGent) has concluded with major breakthroughs in the area of biopharmaceutical drug production, and test results on 3 areas of application in biomedical areas of high unmet need. In the course of the project, new technology was developed to precisely control the addition of sugar chains to protein drugs. These sugar chains (glycans) impart novel functionality on protein drugs, and it was the goal of the project to explore which glycans are optimal to target proteins to the liver, to the lung macrophages and to improve anti-allergen vaccines.
A new set of methods (GlycoDelete-GlyConnect) has been developed during the project, as were glycosylated antibody formats to be used as targeting modules. Highly effective enzyme cocktails have been identified that can kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis and will be further developed to help in the treatment of patients with active drug-resistant tuberculosis. A new highly promising tolerogenic vaccine against house dust mite allergy (which causes 50% of all asthma cases) has been developed, and will also be further developed.
As an unexpected spinoff of the project, a particular yeast-glycosylated antibody format was discovered that can be orally administered, also forming the basis for a whole range of future applications.