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Novel Modeling Analysis of Drug Targeting Strategy

September 19, 2005

When scientists target a drug to a certain cell type, they typically attach the compound to the back of an antibody or protein that has a known affinity for a specific cell surface receptor.  For this Trojan horse strategy to work, their cell of choice must display an inflated number of the given receptor on its surface, raising the chances that this ligand/drug complex will prefer the target cell and not an innocent bystander.  One way to further boost the odds of hitting the target cell is to attach the drug to more than one antibody or protein of the same type.  These so-called multivalent ligands, all of which have an affinity for the same receptor type, will bind much more strongly to cells that overexpress the receptors on their surface.  In the August issue of the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, NIDCR grantees published a mathematical equation that allowed them for the first time to model and predict the behavior of a multivalent ligand-drug construct with two different ligands.

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014