3 mars 2011: Prof. Greg Winter

Thursday, March 3rd 2011, 12h30

Sir Gregory Winter
Deputy Director of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC)
Laboratory of Molecular Biology

"The antibody revolution: wherever next ?"

In recent years there has been a revolution in the pharmaceutical industry; small molecules drugs are being displaced by antibodies. There are already six antibodies in the top 20 best-selling pharmaceutical drugs, and in 2014 it is predicted that there will be six antibodies in the top ten, with the first three slots occupied by antibodies. I will trace the technology that led to this revolution, and attempt to predict where the antibody revolution will go next, with the opportunities for science, medicine and commerce.


Greg Winter is a scientific pioneer of protein engineering, and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and an inventor and entrepreneur. He invented techniques to both humanize (1986) and, later, to make fully human antibodies for therapeutic uses. His technology is used in over two-thirds of the antibody products on the market, including the humanized antibodies Campath-1H, Herceptin, Avastin, Synagis and the first human antibody (Humira) to be approved by the US FDA. Greg was a founder and Board Director of Cambridge Antibody Technology (1989); the company pioneered the use of antibody repertoire technologies to make the human antibodies (floated on the LSE in 1997 and acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006).

Greg was also a founder and Board Director of Domantis (2000); the company pioneered the use of domain antibodies, which use only the active portion of a full-sized antibody (and acquired by GSK in 2006). Together with Christian Heinis at the EPFL, Lausanne, he is now trying to develop very small protein mimics based on a covalently-bonded hydrophobic core; this is the technology that underpins Bicycle Therapeutics. Greg has won several international prizes, including the Prix Louis Jeantet de Medecine (Switzerland) in 1989; the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine (Molecular Immunology, Saudi Arabia) in 1995; the Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award (USA) in 1999 and the National Biotechnology Ventures Award (USA) in 2004. Greg is Deputy Director of UK Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge, and was formerly Joint Head of the LMB Division of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry. Greg is a graduate and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences; an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, of the Royal Society of Medicine and of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering; and a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He received his knighthood in 2004.

To read more about the contribution of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology to the development of Therapeutic Antibodies please follow this link http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/antibody