John F. Kokai-Kun, PhD, Director of External Scientific Collaboration at US Pharmacopeia, explains the fundamentals of monoclonal antibody treatment.
Synthesised in the laboratory, monoclonal antibodies or "mAbs" aim to mimic natural antibodies. These antibodies can be clinically beneficial in a number of ways, including but not limited to imitating a natural immune response.
The treatment has the potential to be given as a preventative option for people exposed to a virus, and to treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected by a virus. But there are concerns about how well such a drug could scale.
John F. Kokai-Kun, PhD, Director of External Scientific Collaboration at US Pharmacopeia (USP), is well qualified to explain the fundamentals of monoclonal antibody treatment.
In this first part of our conversation, he introduces his work at USP and goes into the basic story of mAbs — from early discoveries in the 1970s to today.
When you look at a prescription in the United States, you're likely to see "USP" written on the bottle. The same goes for an increasing number of over-the-counter supplements, as vitamin manufacturers look to reassure potential patients in a crowded and opaque market.
Originally formed by a collective of doctors looking to ensure shared quality control, USP has grown into an institutional authority over the years.