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Each week, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy will highlight the bold work of researchers who have received funding from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII). The Eshelman Institute for Innovation is made possible by a $100 million gift from Fred Eshelman to accelerate the creation and development of ideas leading to discoveries and transformative changes in education, research and health care. To learn more about the EII’s impact, visit

Meet: Andrew Lucas and William Zamboni

Project: Biomarkers to Individualize the Treatment of Monoclonal Antibodies and Antibody Drug Conjugates

Funded Amount: $25,000

About Project: The mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) recognizes and clears nanoparticles (NPs), conjugates, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Fc-receptor mediated endocytosis is responsible for clearing mAbs and ADCs from patients. Our project aimed to develop biomarkers to measure the type, number and density of Fc-receptors (FcɣR) on MPS cells in human blood samples.  Using these biomarker methods and platforms showed that there are differences in the type, number and density of FcɣR on MPS cells in blood from patients with breast cancer, colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition, studies showed that differences in the clearance of mAbs in patients was associated with differences in MPS FcɣRs in blood.  Current and future plans are to evaluate if the biomarkers of FcɣRs on MPS cells in blood can be used to individualize doses of mAbs and ADCs in patients.

“The grant for the development of the biomarkers of MPS FcɣRs in blood that was funded by the Eshelman Institute for Innovation has resulted in several funded research grants and contracts and greatly advanced future plans,” said Zamboni. “We’re now applying this technology to other agents, patient populations and areas of medicine.  The significant acute and potential long term impact of these novel biomarkers would not have been possible without the initial funding from the EII.”

Researchers on project: A. Lucas, W. Zamboni


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