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Publications (12)60.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Upregulation of HER2 is a hallmark of 20% to 30% of invasive breast cancers, rendering this receptor an attractive target for cancer therapy. Although HER2 targeting agents have provided substantial clinical benefit as cancer therapeutics, there is a need for the development of new agents aiming at circumventing anti-HER2 resistance. Based on the approved antibody pertuzumab we have created a panel of bispecific FynomAbs which target two epitopes on HER2. FynomAbs are fusion proteins of an antibody and a Fyn SH3-derived binding protein. One bispecific FynomAb, COVA208, was characterized in detail and showed a remarkable ability to induce rapid HER2-internalization and apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, it elicited a strong inhibition of downstream HER2 signaling by reducing HER2, HER3 and EGFR levels in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, COVA208 demonstrated superior activity in four different xenograft models as compared to the approved antibodies trastuzumab and pertuzumab. The bispecific FynomAb COVA208 has the potential to enhance the clinical efficacy and expand the scope of HER2-directed therapies, and delineates a paradigm for designing a new class of antibody-based therapeutics for other receptor targets.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 07/2014; · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aspartic protease BACE2 is responsible for the shedding of the transmembrane protein Tmem27 from the surface of pancreatic β-cells, which leads to inactivation of the β-cell proliferating activity of Tmem27. This role of BACE2 in the control of β-cell maintenance suggests BACE2 as a drug target for diabetes. Inhibition of BACE2 has recently been shown to lead to improved control of glucose homeostasis and to increased insulin levels in insulin-resistant mice. BACE2 has 52% sequence identity to the well studied Alzheimer's disease target enzyme β-secretase (BACE1). High-resolution BACE2 structures would contribute significantly to the investigation of this enzyme as either a drug target or anti-target. Surface mutagenesis, BACE2-binding antibody Fab fragments, single-domain camelid antibody VHH fragments (Xaperones) and Fyn-kinase-derived SH3 domains (Fynomers) were used as crystallization helpers to obtain the first high-resolution structures of BACE2. Eight crystal structures in six different packing environments define an ensemble of low-energy conformations available to the enzyme. Here, the different strategies used for raising and selecting BACE2 binders for cocrystallization are described and the crystallization success, crystal quality and the time and resources needed to obtain suitable crystals are compared.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 06/2013; 69(Pt 6):1124-37. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The serine protease chymase (EC = 3.4.21.39) is expressed in the secretory granules of mast cells, which are important in allergic reactions. Fynomers, which are binding proteins derived from the Fyn SH3 domain, were generated against human chymase to produce binding partners to facilitate crystallization, structure determination and structure-based drug discovery, and to provide inhibitors of chymase for therapeutic applications. The best Fynomer was found to bind chymase with a KD of 0.9 nM and koff of 6.6x10 (-4) s (-1) , and to selectively inhibit chymase activity with an IC 50 value of 2 nM. Three different Fynomers were co-crystallized with chymase in 6 different crystal forms overall, with diffraction quality in the range of 2.25 to 1.4 Å resolution, which is suitable for drug design efforts. The X-ray structures show that all Fynomers bind to the active site of chymase. The conserved residues Arg15-Trp16-Thr17 in the RT-loop of the chymase binding Fynomers provide a tight interaction, with Trp16 pointing deep into the S1 pocket of chymase. These results confirm the suitability of Fynomers as research tools to facilitate protein crystallization, as well as for the development of assays to investigate the biological mechanism of targets. Finally, their highly specific inhibitory activity and favorable molecular properties support the use of Fynomers as potential therapeutic agents.
    mAbs 07/2012; 4(4):497-508. · 5.28 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of Urology 04/2008; 179(4):315-315. · 3.75 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Thoracic Oncology 01/2007; 2. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We had previously reported that splice isoforms of tenascin-C containing the extra-domain C are virtually absent in normal adult tissues but are highly abundant in high-grade astrocytomas, with a prominent peri-vascular pattern of expression. We now report that the extra-domain C of tenascin-C is strongly expressed in the majority of lung cancers, with a vascular and stromal pattern of expression. Using antibody phage technology, we have generated a human monoclonal antibody (G11), with a dissociation constant K(D) = 4.2 nM for the human domain C. The G11 antibody, expressed in scFv and in mini-antibody (SIP) format, as well as a scFv-interleukin-2 fusion protein, was then characterized in quantitative biodistribution studies using mice grafted subcutaneously with U87 gliomas, revealing a selective tumor uptake, with tumor/blood ratios up to 11.8:1 at 24 h. A radioiodinated preparation of SIP(G11) was also investigated in a double tracer study using an orthotopic rat glioma model, confirming the antibody's ability to preferentially localize at the tumor site, with tumor/brain ratios superior to the ones observed with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose. These tumor-targeting properties, together with the strong immunohistochemical staining of human tumor sections, indicate that the G11 antibody may be used as a portable targeting moiety for the selective delivery of imaging and therapeutic agents to gliomas and lung tumors.
    Protein Engineering Design and Selection 11/2006; 19(10):471-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of biomarkers from serum or plasma is often hindered by a few proteins present at high concentrations, which may obscure less abundant proteins. Ideal serum depletion strategies would be flexible as regards the proteins to be removed, and would feature the use of reagents with long shelf-lives. In this article, we describe a novel protein depletion methodology based on the incubation of serum samples with phage-derived recombinant antibody fragments, which are able to bind to staphylococcal Protein A, and which carry a C-terminal peptide tag capable of streptavidin binding. The resulting protein-antibody complexes can be removed by simultaneous capture on Protein A and/or streptavidin resin. The depletion methodology was exemplified by the isolation of recombinant human mAb fragments specific to abundant human serum Ags and by the simultaneous depletion of albumin, immunoglobulins, alpha2-macroglobulin, hemoglobin, transferrin and haptoglobin. The depleted serum samples were analyzed by 2-DE and by gel-free MS-based methodologies, confirming the efficiency and selectivity of the depletion process. The methodology presented is modular in nature, since several recombinant antibodies can be combined in a single depletion experiment. Furthermore, antibodies do not have to be covalently coupled to a solid support facilitating long-term storage.
    PROTEOMICS 09/2006; 6(16):4496-505. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Through alternative splicing of the extracellular matrix protein tenascin-C (Tn-C) primary transcript nine type III homology repeats can be independently included or omitted. Large, low spliced Tn-C variants (Tn-C(L)) are preferentially expressed during tissue remodelling processes like tumour invasion to modulate cell migration. The study was aimed to evaluate the differential expression of Tn-C splicing domains in urinary bladder carcinoma with respect to the invasive behaviour. The deposition and synthesis of the Tn-C splicing domains A1-D was analysed in 34 urinary bladder carcinomas by semiquantitative immunohistochemistry using domain specific antibodies and by RT-PCR. Results were correlated to tumour stage and grade. There is a significant increase of Tn-C(L) with higher tumour stage and grade. Immunohistochemistry revealed a more restricted distribution pattern of A1, B, and/or D domain containing Tn-C variants to invasive tumours, tumour vessels, and to destructed muscle. The mRNA expression patterns of the domains A1-A3 are similar among the different carcinomas. Stronger differences exist in the region from the B to D domain. In general, the domains AD1/C are rarely expressed. AD1 domain expression seems to be connected with compact invasion pattern. In urinary bladder carcinoma a differential expression of Tn-C splicing variants exists in dependence of tumour type, vascularization, and invasive behaviour. Therefore, the detection of different Tn-C splicing domains could be useful for assessment of muscle invasion, tumour surveillance, as well as target structures for antibody based tumour detection and therapy.
    Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 09/2006; 132(8):537-46. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The targeted delivery of bioactive molecules with antibodies specific to tumor-associated antigens represents a promising strategy for improving the efficacy of tumor therapy. The large isoform of tenascin-C, an abundant glycoprotein of the tumor extracellular matrix, is strongly overexpressed in adult tissue undergoing tissue remodeling, including wound healing and neoplasia, and has been implicated in a variety of different cancers while being virtually undetectable in most normal adult tissues. We have used antibody phage technology to generate good-quality human recombinant antibodies (F16 and P12) specific to the alternatively spliced domains A1 and D of the large isoform of tenascin-C. The tumor-targeting properties of F16 and P12 were assessed by biodistribution studies in tumor xenografts using the antibodies in small immunoprotein (SIP) format. SIP(F16) selectively accumulated at the tumor site with 4.5%ID/g at 24 hours in the U87 glioblastoma model but was rapidly cleared from other organs (tumor-to-organ ratios, approximately 10:1). The accumulation of SIP(P12) in the tumor was lower compared with SIP(F16) and persistent levels of radioactivity were observed in the intestine. These data suggest that the F16 antibody, specific to domain A1 of tenascin-C, is a promising building block for the development of antibody-based pharmaceuticals in view of its excellent tumor-targeting performance and the strong expression of the antigen in a variety of primary and metastatic tumors.
    Clinical Cancer Research 06/2006; 12(10):3200-8. · 7.84 Impact Factor
  • Article: MP12.02
    Urology 01/2006; 68:128-129. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in proteomic research allow the identification of several hundred protein components in complex biological specimens. Structural information is typically lost during proteomic investigations. For this reason, the rapid isolation of monoclonal antibodies specific to proteins of interest would allow the study of structurally intact biological specimens, thus providing complementary proteomic information. Here, we describe the design, construction, characterization, and use of a large synthetic human antibody phage display library (ETH-2-Gold) containing three billion individual antibody clones. A large repertoire of antibodies with similar biochemical properties was produced by appending short variable complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) onto three antibody germline segments (DP47, DPK22, and DPL16), which are frequently found in human antibodies. The ETH-2-Gold library exhibits efficient display of antibody fragments on filamentous phage, as assessed by immunoblot. Furthermore, the library is highly functional, since >90% of clones express soluble antibodies in bacteria and since good quality monoclonal antibodies have been isolated against 16 different antigens. The usefulness of the library as a tool for generating monoclonal antibodies for biomedical applications was tested using the C-domain of tenascin-C (a marker of angiogenesis) as antigen and showing that specific antibodies to this target were able to stain vascular structures in tumor sections.
    PROTEOMICS 07/2005; 5(9):2340-50. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis, i.e. the proliferation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, is an underlying process in many human diseases, including cancer, blinding ocular disorders and rheumatoid arthritis. The ability to selectively target and interfere with neovascularisation would potentially be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of angiogenesis-related diseases. This review presents the authors' views on some of the most relevant markers of angiogenesis described to date, as well as on specific ligands which have been characterised in pre-clinical animal models and/or clinical studies. Furthermore, we present an overview on technologies which are likely to have an impact on the way molecular targeting of angiogenesis is performed in the future.
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 10/2004; 31(9):1327-41. · 5.11 Impact Factor