Computational antibody modelling and prediction platform
SAbDab/SAbPred platform is a suite of command line and online resources encompassing data and predictions tools for antibodies. These resources are used in research and biotechnology for understanding and engineering antibodies. Researchers at the University of Oxford have improved the usability of these resources by encompassing them in a single platform.
Antibodies are proteins that form the backbone of the human immune system. These molecules are highly designable allowing them to be harnessed as therapeutics. This makes antibodies the most prominent class of biologics, with a current market value of ~£70b.
At present, antibody therapeutics are developed using experimental pipelines that are very expensive, which in turn pushes up the price of the resulting drug.
Facilitating this process by reducing the number of required experiments has the potential to accelerate and reduce the price of drug design. Recent advances in understanding antibody structure and function have allowed the development of software which facilitates antibody engineering in this manner.
The Oxford Protein Informatics Group
Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed the Structural Antibody Database (SAbDab) and Structural Antibody Prediction Platform (SAbPred) for computational design of antibodies.
The former collects and curates structural information on antibodies and the latter uses this data to perform various predictions which support artificial antibody design.
The software helps to prioritise which antibodies should be investigated further, and even to design entirely new antibodies. The platform is currently used by leading biopharmaceutical companies to improve the design of antibody-based therapeutics.
Antibody informatics tool
The SAbDab/SAbPred platform is currently available for download and plug and play use as a virtual machine image. The platform is built in a vagrant VirtualBox – a virtualisation that allows an operating system with all its software to run in a special environment on top of the existing operating system.
This means that the SAbDab / SAbPred tools are available in a single place, available through a simple install, and can be easily managed and transferred between systems.
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