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Paris, France - 05 October
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to 3 scientists. One half to Frances H. Arnold, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, USA, "for the directed evolution of enzymes" and the other half jointly to George P. Smith, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA, and Sir Gregory P. Winter, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, "for the phage display of peptides and antibodies."
The Phage display technique was first described in 1985 by George Smith and has been a formidable tool since. It consists of using the ability of bacteriophages to "display" proteins on their coat by inserting a gene encoding for a specific protein into the phage's genetic material. The specific protein will then be displayed outside the phage on its coat which allows to study protein–protein, protein–peptide, and protein–DNA interactions.
In 1991 the phage display technique was succesfully used for the first time to express antibodies at the phage surface. It is now widely used for in vitro antibody selection.
With this Nobel Prize we can see that this technique is still a powerful tool for the Biotechnology research.
At Hybrigenics, we use this technique coupled with our synthetic VHH library to select highly specific VHH antibodies in vitro, without animal immunization.