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Synthetic chemical ligands and cognate antibodies for biorthogonal drug targeting and cell engineering

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A vast range of biomedical applications relies on the specificity of interactions between an antigen and its cognate receptor or antibody. This specificity can be highest when said antigen is a non-natural (synthetic) molecule introduced into a biological setting as a bio-orthogonal ligand. This review aims to present the development of this methodology from the early discovery of haptens a century ago to the recent clinical trials. We discuss such methodologies as antibody recruitment, artificial internalizing receptors and chemically induced dimerization, present the use of chimeric receptors and/or bispecific antibodies to achieve drug targeting and transcytosis, and illustrate how these platforms most impressively found use in the engineering of therapeutic cells such as the chimeric antigen receptor cells. This review aims to be of interest to a broad scientific audience and to spur the development of synthetic artificial ligands for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Pages (from-to)281-293
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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