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Pierre Martineau

Name of the laboratory

Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier
Immunotargeting and Radiobiology in Oncology
Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier, IRCM
INSERM U896/Montpellier University/Val d’Aurelle Oncology Center
208 rue des Apothicaires
34298 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

Members of the laboratory

Unit Leader
Christian LARROQUE
PhD students

Laboratory activity

Oncologists prescribe mAbs to their patients as routinely as chemotherapy. Antibodies represented almost half of the top-20 US therapeutic biotechnology sales for 2007. This state-of-the-art situation is radically different from that of the 1990’s when only few people and companies were convinced of the therapeutic potential of mAbs. However, there is still place for improvements in mAb-based cancer therapies since about half of cancer patients are not cured yet. Indeed, mAbs present the unique opportunity of a potential triple mechanism of action: (i) a direct effect on the target antigen and its intracellular signaling pathways; (ii) an effect on the immune system (i.e., antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity –ADCC- and complement-dependent cytolysis -CDC); and (iii) they can be armed with toxins or radioisotopes to enhance their action.

In this context, our strategy includes (i) the development and evaluation of proprietary molecules for which we can set up partnerships with biotech companies and envisage the long term transfer to the clinic and (ii) the original use and evaluation of approved molecules which can be translated into the clinic more rapidly.

Research activities

In our institute, we developed phage display approach, to select antibodies. Our bank is fully human, and allows us to make an effective screening on in vivo tumor models. SPEC-CT technology provides us a good technology to follow tumor growth and antibody targeting in the small animal. Using an in vitro selection system allows us to systematically select for antibodies that cross react with human and mouse proteins. This greatly facilitates the in vivo characterization of the monoclonal antibodies in pertinent pre-clinical models.

Techniques available

Publications (2014-present)