Imre Kacskovics DVM, PhD, DSc


 

KacskovicsImre 2014

Head of Department of Immunology, Professor
Peter S. Freudenthal professor

email: imre.kacskovics(at)ttk.elte.hu

Links for all publications: Pubmed MTMT Google

Short CV

Research interest

Over the last two decades therapeutic and diagnostic uses of antibodies have been greatly progressed. However, producing antibodies that are specific for the current, most promising therapeutic targets is highly challenging.

The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) regulates IgG and albumin homeostasis, mediates maternal IgG transport, takes active part in phagocytosis and delivers antigen for presentation.

We have created transgenic mice and rabbits that overexpress FcRn and show significantly improved humoral immune responses with 1) higher antigen specific serum IgG titers; 2) larger numbers of antigen specific B cells in the spleen offering more target specific hybridomas; 3) increased diversity of induced antibodies; (4) generation of antibodies against weakly immunogenic antigens. Therefore, these animals allow the production of high quality and diverse antibodies for challenging therapeutic, diagnostic and research targets.

We have filed patent applications to protect this innovation that lead to issued patents in the European Union, Hong Kong, Canada, China and Australia and founded a start-up company ImmunoGenes to transfer this technology to the industry. Our transgenic animals have been tested for their effectiveness at the world’s largest pharma companies which may integrate them into their antibody development technologies. One of these companies, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Japan was granted a non-exclusive license to use bFcRn transgenic mice by ImmunoGenes in 2014. ImmunoGenes has recently initiated its premium category “Customized Antibody Solution” program to develop monoclonal- and polyclonal-antibodies against challenging targets.

FcRn overexpression rescues IgG more efficiently resulting in higher level of antigen-specific IgGs in immunized transgenic animals which leads to the formation of more antigen-IgG ICs. Transgenic dendritic cells (DC) that overexpress FcRn present antigens more efficiently to T helper cells (TH) when loaded with antigen-IgG ICs. It also enhances the priming of naïve B cells, the expansion of antigen-specific memory B cells (BM) and plasma cells (antibody forming cells; AFC) in the secondary lymphoid organs. This results in a more diverse humoral immune response, a higher titer and higher affinity of antigen-specific IgG. (Green texts and arrows indicate cells and effects that contribute in augmenting the humoral immune response by FcRn.)

Members of the FcRn group (March 2017)

Research projects

Selected publications

Links for all publications: Pubmed MTMT Google