HELM for Antibody Registration

Roche’s Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development (pRED) informatics team has adopted the Pistoia Alliance’s Hierarchical Editing Language for Macromolecules (HELM) as a fundamental building block of their antibody registration tool. As a result, the HELM notation and the HELM Antibody Editor (HAbE) are being rolled out throughout Roche’s bio-therapeutics group (“Large Molecule Research”) to improve the speed, accuracy and effectiveness of antibody research.

Advanced Notation Solution

As recently as two years ago, simple antibody formats were described just by their sequences, with PowerPoint slides used to illustrate more complex formats. This worked well for standard antibodies but less so for non-standard ones. Today, the former non-standard antibody designs have become the new de-facto standard, representing up to 90% of the current portfolio. As the volume of antibody designs rapidly increased, there became a clear need for a more advanced solution.

Protein domains are the building blocks for antibody analysis, annotation, handling, and visualization. Modern antibody designs have highly complex formats with large numbers of protein domains featuring ADCs, coupled proteins, bi/tri-specifics, cross-Mab technology, and scFv/scFab modules connected to the termini. New formats continue to appear almost every week. The pRED informatics department together with scientists from Roche Large Molecule Research identified the need for a solution that could accurately represent all possible formats for registration, visualisation, and data analysis.

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