Development of antibody-based drug candidates for the treatment of lung diseases
The most serious and currently incurable chronic pulmonary disease besides lung cancer is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which is also a national disease in Hungary, registering 15-16 thousand of new patients a year, with an estimated total number of patients over 600 000. The elevated level of a galactose-binding protein has recently been shown in the small airway epithelial cells of severe cases of COPD, which correlated with the growth of neutrophil granulocytes and the proliferation of epithelial cells and the severity of respiratory obstruction. Proliferation and galectins both have important role in lung cancer also. Our aim is to develop two original therapeutic antibodies which exhibit specific binding and activity for galactose-binding proteins. This will establish new type of biotechnology based drug development. The consortium will also be developing a small molecule for new types of asthma and COPD.