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From antibody to zinc finger: an A-Z of Open Targets

OpenTargets or Open Targets? Target validation or target identification? Celiac disease or coeliac disease? As users discover our resources, it’s time to take a closer look at the lexicon of terms that matter to us.

We will break our lexicon into several different posts. First things first: the A.

Antibody

A type of protein produced by the immune system to fight against (mainly) the non-self, that can also be used as therapeutic drugs. In the Open Targets Platform, you can find lots of therapeutic antibodies, either already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or still in clinical trials.

EFALIZUMAB, TOCILIZUMAB, VEDOLIZUMAB exemplify antibodies that bind with high affinity to a single epitope (or antigen), and therefore are known as monoclonal antibodies. How do we know these are monoclonal? The clue is in the last three letters of their generic names: MAB for monoclonal antibody.

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Antibodies are part of the class of biologic drugs (as opposed to small molecules), and can be used for the treatment of different diseases, such as cancer and celiac disease.

Dr Denise Carvalho-Silva

Dr Denise Carvalho-Silva

Scientific Outreach Lead at Open Targets after working in Ensembl, GENCODE, EUCOMM, pig genome projects, and post-doc at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Australian National University.

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