John McCafferty was one of the founders of Cambridge Antibody Technology and a co-inventor of antibody phage display. He also founded IONTAS an innovative biotechnology companies using phage display to develop novel antibody therapeutics. More recently he formed Maxion Therapeutics to focus on development of antibody modulators of ion channels.
His recently formed academic group at the Department of Medicine seeks to bring this long experience in recombinant antibody technology to bear on the problems of the developing world and in particular the scourge of snakebite envenomation.
Snake bite envenomation kills 100,000 people/year and causes debilitating injury to 100,000s more victims. The main therapeutic intervention for snakebite envenomation relies on the century-old approach of injecting victims with animal-derived polyclonal antiserum. Animal immunisation generates high affinity antibodies and undoubtedly saves lives, but the use of immune antiserum has a number of limitations around consistency, redundancy and immunogenicity.
Working in collaboration with Institut Clomido Picado, Costa Rica (an anti-venom producer) the group will use recombinant antibody technology towards the capture, sequencing and characterisation of the antibody repertoire arising from venom immunisation to create a defined, oligoclonal chimeric antibody cocktail.
Dyson MR, Masters E, Pazeraitis D, Perera RL, Syrjanen JL, Surade S, Thorsteinson N, Parthiban K , Jones PC, Sattar M, Wozniak Knopp G, Rueker F, Leah R, McCafferty J (2020) Beyond affinity: selection of antibody variants with optimal biophysical properties and reduced immunogenicity from mammalian display libraries mAbs 1215, 884-898 DOI: 10.1080/19420862.2020.1829335
Parthiban K, Perera RL, Sattar M, Huang Y, Mayle S, Masters E, Griffiths D, Surade S, Leah R, Dyson MR, McCafferty J (2019) A comprehensive search of functional sequence space using large mammalian display libraries created by gene editing mAbs 11:5, 884-898 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19420862.2019.1618673
Santamaria S, Fedorov O, McCafferty J, Murphy G, Dudhia J Nagase H, and Yamamoto K (2017) Development of a monoclonal anti-ADAMTS-5 antibody that specifically blocks the interaction with LRP1 mAbs 9 p595-602 DOI: 10.1080/19420862.2017.1304341
Melidoni, A. N., Dyson, M. R., McCafferty, J. (2016) Selection of antibodies interfering with cell surface receptor signalling using embryonic stem cell differentiation. Methods in Molecular Biology 1341 p111-132 DOI:10.1007/7651_2015_270
Botkjaer, K.A., Kwok, H.F., Terp, M.G., Karatt-Vellatt,A, Santamaria, S, McCafferty J, Andreasen, P.A., Itoh, Y., Ditzel, H.J., Murphy, G. (2016) Development of a specific affinity-matured exosite inhibitor to MT1-MMP that efficiently inhibits tumor cell invasion in vitro and metastasis in vivo. Oncotarget 7 p16773-16792 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.7780