Anticalin proteins promise to become safer drugs with improved efficacy profiles and more convenient routes of administration than existing targeted biologic drugs. Building on its stable structure, small size and human origin, Anticalin proteins show potential advantages over other therapeutic protein drugs in six different areas:

  1. Broad Target Space
    • Anticalin proteins specifically bind targets previously considered too small for other targeted protein approaches, including small ligands or hapten-like targets
    • Their binding ability to small molecules, toxins or other drugs with overdose risks makes them ideal antidote candidates
    • Anticalin proteins also bind larger proteins with high affinity due to their variable loops outside the cup-structure
  2. Flexible Formatting
    • Anticalin proteins provide simplified bi-(Duocalin®)and multi-specific approaches with single gene expression
    • Free N- and C-terminus can be joined with other proteins without interfering with the ligand-binding regions. This can be applied to generate Duo- or Multicalins as well as to generate Antibody-Anticalin fusions
    • This allows for a variety of applications including redirected cell killing and tuning molecules for desired half-life
  3. Monovalency
    • Anticalin proteins avoid unwanted agonistic receptor cross-linking activity due to their monovalent, monomeric structure
  4. Robustness
    • Due to their small size and stable structure, Anticalin proteins expand treatment modalities of therapeutic proteins
    • Anticalin proteins have shown promise in inhaled pulmonary delivery and in sustained-release depot formulations with localized activity
  5. Safety
    • Anticalin proteins avoid safety issues based on their endogenous human protein progenitors that naturally bind and transport ligands in the extracellular environment
    • Preclinical testing and Pieris’ first clinical trial, conducted with our PRS-050 anti-VEGF compound, demonstrate Anticalin proteins to be safe and well-tolerated with a complete lack of immunogenicity and no trace of anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) in humans
  6. Speed & Low Costs
    • Anticalin proteins can rapidly be advanced from discovery into development through highly standardized screening, characterization and optimization techniques
    • Anticalin proteins can be produced at comparably lower cost of goods based on quality bacterial expression technologies