"The long duration of drug development relative to the span of a career reminds me that, like the renown landscape gardener, Lancelot "Capability" Brown, one needs to plant for future generations."
I joined Genentech as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1986 and left as a Senior Scientist and Head of the Postdoctoral Program in 2000. I then rejoined Genentech in 2010 as a Senior Director and Staff Scientist to lead the Antibody Engineering Department. My most significant contributions to drug development include initiating the antibody humanization program at Genentech. I am a co-inventor of 6 humanized or human antibodies that have reached clinical development, including one humanized antibody that later became a commercial product.
My lab and our collaborators developed ‘knobs-in-holes’ technology that has been widely used by many different organizations for generating bispecific antibodies and other bifunctional molecules. At Genentech, ‘knobs-in-holes’ was included in the design of a one-armed antibody and 5+ bispecific antibodies that have reached clinical trials. My lab also invented common light chain technology used by several different companies for developing 6+ bispecific antibodies that have entered clinical trials including 1 approved product. We also developed technologies for high-level expression of antibody Fab fragments that were subsequently utilized for production of an antibody drug that is now marketed.
I have authored or co-authored 110+scientific publications that together have been cited 17,000+ times. I am an inventor or co-inventor on 45+ granted US patents and 53+ published US patent applications. I have co-organized 15+ international conferences on antibody engineering and antibody therapeutics. I have delivered 110+ conference presentations and invited lectures including 11+ keynote presentations.
My research interests focus on inventing new antibody technologies and applying them to develop future generations of antibody therapeutics. My prime motivator is the desire to create break through antibody drugs with novel or enhanced functions that provide new options to patients.
Developing improved antibody drugs is feasible given rapid advances across many different fields. For example, a growing repertoire of antibody discovery and engineering technologies have been developed. Expanding knowledge of the mechanisms of action and resistance of antibody drugs as well as greater knowledge of target pathobiology is also guiding the design of next generation antibodies.