The Owen Lab utilizes chemical biology approaches to develop therapies and diagnostics. We are interested in hybrid biotherapeutics, including antibody drug conjugates and fusion proteins, and in diagnostic assays using split-enzymes and protein switches.
Tumor-specific monoclonal antibody (mAbs) can be coupled with therapeutic and diagnostic agents to generate antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), combinding the highly desirable pharmacokinetic (PK) profile and selectivity of mAbs with the potent cytotoxicity drugs – thereby minimizing side effects while maximizing therapeutic effects. The most explored approaches in developing ADCs are to conjugate more potent drugs or to increase the amount of drug by conjugating large delivery vehicles such as liposomes and micelles. We are focusing on controlling the systemic and cellular pharmacokinetics (PK) of ADCs.
We are utilizing split-enzyme technology to construct a new class of antibody-mediated diagnostics. These ‘wash-free’ homogenous immunoassays are as sensitive and more rapid than current technologies, without cumbersome processing steps. We have successfully developed assays to measure protein biomarkers to follow cancer treatment and assays to monitor therapeutic drug levels. We are currently applying our platform to investigate important protein-protein interactions.