Development and characterization of antibody fusion proteins with tumourrestricted FcγR-independent co-stimulatory activity by targeting CD70

Keywords: CD70 targeting, bifunctional antibody fusion proteins, encapsulation, drug-delivery

1st Hosting institution: Location: UKW, Würzburg, Germany; Duration: 18 months

2nd Hosting institution: Location: InoCure, Prag, Czech Republic; Duration: 18 months


Intended start date: August 2019

Job Description: PhD-student position (3 years): This PhD student position offers an exciting and innovative research project that aims to develop antibody fusion proteins that enable CD70-restricted activation of the immune-stimulatory activity of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) receptors TNFR2, 4-1BB and OX40. In brief, these novel antibody-fusion proteins link the inhibition of the regulatory T cell-stimulating and T cell exhaustion-inducing CD70 molecule with stimulation of T cell costimulatory receptors. Further, these immunotherapeutics will be formulated using novel encapsulation technology to improve applicability and pharmacokinetics.

The PhD candidate will be working as part of an international consortium on their search for an immunotherapeutic approach to cancer treatment and will spend the first 18 months of their 3 year research project at the University Hospital Würzburg (UKW) / Germany, one of the leading academic centers of Germany. At the UKW, the new bifunctional antibody fusion proteins will be developed and preclinically evaluated. The remaining 18 months, the candidate will continue in Prague / Czech Republic at the nanobiotechnology company Inocure SRO. Inocure is a leading company in drug formulation and in in vitro modelling and the candidate will exploit this expertise for further studies on encapsulation of the antibody fusion proteins and their testing in 3D culture models. With this project, the candidate will acquire experience in both industrial and academic research. This research project will end with a PhD thesis defense at the University of Würzburg.

This project is part of a collaborative training network of 10 closely related projects in which PhD students will benefit from networking opportunities. This includes a multidisciplinary training programme with network-wide training events that will be provided to the candidates. Herewith, the PhD project will provide the candidate a unique opportunity to obtain knowledge/expertise on important facets of both academia and industry.

Key Responsibilities:



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