To understand what a nanobody is, you first need to understand what an antibody is. Constituted of two heavy chains and two light chains, a « classical » antibody posseses variable domains and constant domains.
The recognition site to the antigen, called paratope, is formed of the association of two variables domains respectively on the heavy and the light chain (VH+VL).
It’s the discovery in 1989 of Professor Hamers and his team that revolutionizes this assumption : besides « classical » antibodies, they revealed that camelids have Heavy chain only Antibodies : called HcAb, that lack light chains and for which the paratope is on one domain only called VHH or nanobody (figure 1 on the slider at the bottom).
Those nanobodies have rapidly raised interest in the scientific community, who, since 2003, uses thoses innovatives structures as therapeutics reagents and imagery within numerous pre-clinical and clinical trials.
In 2019, shortly 30 years after their discovery, the first therapeutic nanobody is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as a part of the development of a treatment against Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).
In that promising environment, NabGen Technology dedicates a major part of its activity to the generation of nanobodies to answer a wide range of applications in the field of fundamental and clinical research.