What research is being done on molecule-based biologic agents?
Proteins, ligands, nucleic acids, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and other molecules are integral to cellular communication and drive cellular mechanisms, and are thus critical to physiological and pathological function alike. Molecular biologics can be used to directly affect cell phenotypes and behaviors (i.e., cytokines, exosomes), promote targeted cell-cell interactions (e.g., antibodies), or facilitate the targeted delivery of another agent (i.e., viral vectors, nanoparticles).
While tissue-based agents can be constructed using extracted cells and cell-based agents can be developed by modulating existing cells, the production of molecule-based biologics generally requires the creation of a “cellular factory” – a cell which has been engineered to produce and/or secrete the desired agent in question. Much research has been dedicated to identifying the best “factory” cells, optimizing production yield and efficiency, and minimizing final product variability from a structural and conformational standpoint, with the aim of ensuring that a constant and stable supply of molecule-based biologics is available for basic, translational, and clinical scientific demands.