Using combinatorial chemistry to generate novel binding molecules based on protein frameworks (‘scaffolds’) is a concept that has been strongly promoted during the past five years in both academia and industry. Nonantibody recognition proteins derive from different structural families and mimic the binding principle of immunoglobulins to varying degrees. In addition to the specific binding of a pre-defined target, these proteins provide favourable characteristics such as robustness, ease of modification and cost-efficient production. The broad spectrum of potential applications, including research tools, separomics, diagnostics and therapy, has led to the commercial exploitation of this technology by various small- and medium-sized companies. It is predicted that scaffold-based affinity reagents will broaden and complement applications that are presently covered by natural or recombinant antibodies. Here, we provide an overview on current approaches in the biotech industry, considering both scientific and commercial aspects.
© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.