Advances in selection technologies have sped up the process of generating antibodies with exquisitely tailored characteristics. In particular, synthetic antibody libraries, in which the antigen-binding sites are entirely man-made, have come of age and now rival or even exceed the potential of natural immune repertoires. Control over both library design and selection conditions enables unprecedented precision in antibody engineering. Synthetic libraries have been used to gain insights into the mechanisms of antibody structure and function, to tackle particularly difficult therapeutic challenges and to expand the utility of antibodies to novel areas of research.
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The authors are employed by Genentech, Inc., which develops antibody therapeutics for the health care market.
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Sidhu, S., Fellouse, F. Synthetic therapeutic antibodies. Nat Chem Biol 2, 682–688 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio843
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