Cannabinoids in the Spotlight

A contract commencing the cooperation between the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (IMC AS CR), the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB AS CR) and the Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) was signed on Wednesday October 10, 2018. Research aims to develop iBodies®  for selective recognition of cannabinoid receptors CB1/CB2 in tissue samples.

Leading scientific institutions have joined forces in researching the synthetic antibodies iBodies®

The Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (IMC), of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in cooperation with the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), are moving ahead together in intensive research of synthetic antibody mimetics called iBodies®.. They have just commenced cooperation with the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI). In the future, newly prepared iBodies® should serve in clinical diagnostics, e.g. histological staining of tissues. The ceremonial signing of the agreement took place on Wednesday, October 10 at IMC.

Dr. Pavel Kubu, Chief Executive Officer of ICCI, explains why this is such an important collaboration, “Through a joint ICCI project with Masaryk Oncological Institute in Brno it was discovered during initial tests of the reliability and sensitivity of available antibodies for the staining of cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cancer cells that commercially available antibodies are not applicable for the given research aim. We therefore turned to two of the leading institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, IMC and IOCB Prague, which have presently introduced to the market the first types of iBodies,”

The aim of developing iBodies® is to replace expensive and not always available specific antibodies that are necessary for most biochemical methods. As opposed to antibodies themselves, iBodies® are water-soluble polymer conjugates decorated with small organic molecules, usually enzyme inhibitors or receptor ligands. These crucial components are responsible for selective binding of iBodies® to target enzymes/receptors on a cell surface. Recent lab test results have shown that the prepared iBodies® are at the very least comparable with commercially available antibodies, and have demonstrated even better sensitivity and stability in several biochemical methods.

 “Our colleagues from IOCB Prague and ICCI are very important partners to us even beyond the framework of the polymer iBodies project. So I fully embrace this joint project in researching synthetic polymer-based antibody mimetics,” said Mr. Jiří Kotek, Director of the IMC, “Now we will jointly work on developing new products on the basis of iBodies. The newly prepared antibody mimetics will be further specifically modified so that it will be possible to use them in diagnostics of cannabinoid receptors in human medicine.

For scientists, iBodies® polymers represent an invaluable tool because they make it possible to   see a specific protein on the surface of cells, or isolate these proteins from the blood and other tissues. In the future, these polymer conjugates could significantly increase the effectiveness and improve an entire series of applied biochemical methods in research as well as in clinical practice.

“Intuition tells me that iBodies have great potential, and that we will ultimately not be sticking with only synthetic antibody mimetics, but more of their unique and yet unseen advantages will reveal themselves. It is up to every specific project and targeted application so that the potential of these original molecules could fully appear. That is one more reason I’m so happy with the prospects of this new project with our colleagues from IMC and ICCI, with whom we will keep developing iBodies,“ added the director of IOCB Prague, Mr. Zdeněk Hostomský regarding their cooperation.