The Challenge: Monotherapy-Resistant Disease
The outgrowth of drug-resistant mutants is a widespread problem, common to many different disease types, including cancer, infectious disease (both bacterial and viral), and protein diseases. Any treatment consisting of a single therapeutic entity will exert selective pressure on the target cells, leading to the outgrowth of rare escape mutants, which render the treatment ineffective. This is true in the case of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics and monoclonal antibody therapies.
Increasingly, biclonal and triclonal mixtures of antibodies are being introduced for clinical testing to address this problem. In many cases, monoclonal antibodies already approved for use in humans are being tested in new combinations with other approved or investigational monoclonals. However, pre-clinical studies for many diseases are starting to show that even larger numbers of antibodies need to be combined for maximal efficacy.