It has been 16 years since the first monoclonal antibody was approved for therapy in acute transplant rejection. Now, with a further nine therapeutic monoclonal antibodies approved for use and some 16 in phase III trials or beyond, are we still grappling with the same old issues or are magic bullets finally hitting the mark?
In 1975, two British scientists thought of creating a mouse antibody that could be replicated or 'cloned' to produce identical copies. Identical copies with identical modes of action had the potential to be a drug. They had launched what was to be one of biotechnology's best ideas.