The big goal in sight: interdisciplinary research work of the NMI receives award

The 2023 Paper Award of the international journal antibodies goes to the publication "HDX-MS for Epitope Characterization of a Therapeutic ANTIBODY Candidate on the Calcium-Binding Protein Annexin-A1" by Marius Gramlich under the direction of Dr. Anne Zeck, group leader for bioanalytics at the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute in Reutlingen.

The topics in which the scientists at the NMI carry out research are many and varied, whether it is materials and surface analysis, which often involves the smallest areas, or research into disease mechanisms in the body, safety and toxicology studies for new drugs or the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of action of biotherapeutics. The award-winning publication is in the latter category, to be precise in the biopharma field. In addition to research work within the framework of public projects, the NMI also offers contract research and works closely with its clients to find answers and solutions to challenges. Such contract research was the cornerstone for the award-winning publication, the so-called paper.

An antibody docks

There are different phases in biopharmaceutical development. In the early development phase, an important goal is the so-called epitope mapping. Epitope mapping is about narrowing down the region where the antibody binds to the target molecule. Knowledge of the binding region facilitates the elucidation of the mechanism of action, which in turn is crucial for the approval of the therapeutic for certain diseases, a risk assessment of potential side effects and for securing intellectual property rights (patents).

antibodies - open-access journal

The journal antibodies, which belongs to MDPI - the largest publisher of scientific open-access journals, is an international journal accessible to everyone. Its advanced forum publishes scientific papers related to antibodies and antigens after thorough peer review. Reviews, technical publications, research articles, communications and short communications are published once a quarter. Founded in 2012, the stated goal of the journal is to encourage scientists to publish their experimental and theoretical results in as much detail as possible.

Each year, an international jury of experts selects a winner from among the scientific publications, the publication that particularly stands out for its originality and scientific relevance, citations and downloads. This year, this award goes to the publication by Marius Gramlich and coauthors from 2021.

What exactly was awarded?

In this publication, a therapeutic antibody candidate was investigated using a special technological method. The so-called epitope mapping with HDX-MS (HDX- Hydrogen Deuterium Exchange, MS - Mass Spectrometry) is about the verification and elucidation of the exact binding region of antibodies to their target molecules. The study demonstrates that even cryptic and flexible binding regions can be investigated using HDX-MS, enabling rapid and efficient determination of antibody binding sites that will help define a profile of action for their use in therapy.

Aktuelles, Press


Dr. Anne Zeck

Group Leader Bioanalytics