The research group Rüker/Wozniak-Knopp at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology has developed a novel application of their "Modular Antibody Engineering" and published it in the journal "Life". As a result, another attractive antibody is now available for cancer therapy. Modular Antibody Engineering allows the production of bispecific antibodies that have additional antigen binding sites in the constant part of the antibody molecule. HER2 is a receptor that is highly overexpressed on various tumors, thereby promoting tumor cell growth. This receptor plays a particularly important role in the diagnosis and therapy of breast cancer.

In his dissertation, Filippo Benedetti together with colleagues from the lab was able to show that a novel bispecific antibody that binds simultaneously  to two different epitopes of HER2 has a strong cytotoxic effect on tumor cells. The additional binding site creates a cross-linking of the HER2 molecules, which causes them to migrate into the tumour cell, lose their effect and the cancer cell dies.

The underlying technology is used therapeutically in a variety of ways by BOKU spin-off F-star Therapeutics (; Nasdaq: FSTX).

The graphical abstract of the article was chosen by the editor as the title page of the issue:
Reference: Filippo Benedetti, Katharina Stadlbauer, Gerhard Stadlmayr, Florian Rüker, Gordana Wozniak-Knopp: A Tetravalent Biparatopic Antibody Causes Strong HER2 Internalization and Inhibits Cellular Proliferation. Life 2021, 11(11), 1157;


Ao.Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Florian Rüker
Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie