Regulatable systemic production of monoclonal antibodies by in vivo muscle electroporation

Perez, N.; Bigey, P.; Scherman, D.; Danos, O.; Piechaczyk, M.; Pelegrin, M.

Genet Vaccines Ther

2004-03-23 / vol 2 / pages 2


The clinical application of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) potentially concerns a wide range of diseases including, among others, viral infections, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Although intravenous infusion appears to be the simplest and most obvious mode of administration, it is very often not applicable to long-term treatments because of the restrictive cost of mAbs certified for human use and the side effects associated with injection of massive doses of antibodies. Gene/cell therapies designed for sustained and, possibly, regulatable in vivo production and systemic delivery of mAbs might permit to advantageously replace it. We have already shown that several such approaches allow month- to year-long ectopic antibody production by non-B cells in living organisms. Those include grafting of ex vivo genetically modified cells of various types, in vivo adenoviral gene transfer and implantation of encapsulated antibody-producing cells. Because intramuscular electrotransfer of naked DNA has already been used for in vivo production of a variety of proteins, we have wanted to test whether it could be adapted to that of ectopic mAbs as well. We report here that this is actually the case since both long-term and regulatable production of an ectopic mAb could be obtained in the mouse taken as a model animal. Although serum antibody concentrations obtained were relatively low, these data are encouraging in the perspective of future therapeutical applications of this technology in mAb-based immunotherapies, especially in developing countries where cost-effective and easily implementable technologies would be required for large-scale applications in the context of severe chronic viral diseases such as HIV and HCV infections.

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