New Model to Improve Drug Effectiveness
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New Model to Improve Drug Effectiveness

July 1, 2010
New Model to Improve Drug Effectiveness In this image, a fragment of the antibody Erbitux (cetuximab) binds to its target, a fragment of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The blue ribbon at the top is the backbone of the EGFR fragment, and the red and gray ribbons at the bottom are the backbone of the antibody fragment. The licorice sticks and the balls in the central portion represent protein side chains making close interactions between the antigen (EGFR) and the antibody, with the balls representing one of the mutations designed computationally. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a computer modeling approach that could improve a class of drugs based on antibodies, molecules key to the immune system. The computer model can predict structural changes in an antibody that will improve its effectiveness. [This image was produced by Shaun Lippow while he was a recipient of an NSF graduate research fellowship.] (Date of Image: Sept. 20, 2007)

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