Immuno-Engineering the Future of Wellness—Sawsan Youssef—Chief Scientific Officer at Distributed Bio
Manage episode 266440941 series 2469176
Chief Scientific Officer at Distributed Bio, Sawsan Youssef, joins the show to discuss her work at this unique company, and why it might hold promise for treating the COVID-19 virus and other medical conditions. In this episode, you will learn:
- What an antibody is, and how antibody therapeutics are developed
- How antibody therapy might prevent the COVID-19 virus from binding to host cells, thereby preventing illness
- How Distributed Bio identifies which antibodies will provide the most optimal binding properties at optimal binding sites for a given virus or disease
Distributed Bio is a small, self-funded biotechnology company that’s creating new technologies for therapeutics in a variety of medical fields by using immunology as the platform. There are two type of therapeutics in their current portfolio: one that relies on antibody generation, and one that is vaccine-based. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Distributed Bio is developing a therapeutic which is based on the use of antibodies.
Youssef explains the science and biology behind how antibody therapy works and why the use of antibodies to combat viruses is not only effective, but less likely to cause dangerous side effects. Generally speaking, antibodies are a good type of therapeutic because they are well-tolerated by the body and target precisely what you’re aiming for. In contrast, the use of other small molecules in therapeutics might target what you’re aiming for, but they may also target multiple other pathways in the body along the way, leading to adverse effects.
Youssef discusses a number of other important topics, including how this technology could treat autoimmune diseases like lupus, the role of antibody therapeutics in the field of oncology, in what ways some viruses are able to render binding antibodies ineffective, and the timeframe on the COVID-19 therapeutic that’s in the works.