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Adventitious agent

An acquired, accidental, contaminant in a cell line.  This may include a virus or toxin.

Adverse Events

An unwanted or undesired effect or toxicity in a patient due exposure to a drug or medical device

Analytical method

A process used to analyze or characterize a specific mixture, compound or unknown material.


Also known as immunoglobulins, antibodies are infection-fighting protein molecules synthesized by the immune system in response to an antigen. It tags, neutralize and help destroy foreign microorganisms or toxins.  They are Y-shaped, with a “tail” and two “arms.” The arms have a unique shape that enables them to combine specifically with the antigen.

Antibodies react to very specific characteristics of different antigens, binding them to the top ends of their “Y” formation. Once the antibody and antigen combine, the antibodies deactivate the antigen or lead it to macrophages that ingest and destroy it.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC)

ADCC is mechanism of monoclonal antibody-based cancer therapy by which natural killer cells, T cells, and macrophages recognize and kill antibody-labeled target cells.

Imai K, Takaoka A. Comparing antibody and small-molecule therapies for cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2006;6:714-727.

Also see: Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity

Antibody-drug Conjugates (ADCs)

Antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs represent an innovative therapeutic application that combines the unique, high specificity, properties and antitumor activity of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with the potent cell killing activity of cytotoxic small molecule drugs. In linking monoclonal antibodies with cytotoxic agents, scientists have been able to optimize the features of both components.

Also see: What are Antibody-dryg Conjugates


Auristatin is a potent synthetic dolastatin 10 analog and a cytotoxic agent that functions as an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization. This agent is part of  a  class of microtubule-disrupting agents and include  monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) and monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF). In preclinical models, auristatins are 100- to 1,000-fold more potent than traditional chemotherapy drugs.

Ricart AD, Tolcher AW. Technology insight: cytotoxic drug immunoconjugates for cancer therapy. Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2007;4:245-255.


A virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium. It is sometimes used a vector. Bacteriophages were discovered by Frederick W. Twort in (Great Britain; 1915) and Félix d’Hérelle (France; 1917).  D’Hérelle coined the term bacteriophage, meaning “bacteria eater,” to describe their bacteriocidal ability.

Bacteriophages are composed of proteins that encapsulate a DNA or RNA genome, and may have relatively simple or elaborate structures. Their genomes may encode as few as four genes, and as many as hundreds of genes.


Information or data used as comparison or control.  Baseline  information found at the beginning of a study or other initial known value which is used for comparison with later data.  In medicine and science, the concept of a baseline is essential to establish a relative rather than absolute meaning to data.

Batch (batch production)

A manufacturing process in which the object in question (a quantity of a drug or chemical substance) is created stage by stage over a series of workstations, and different batches of products are made. The process may include the production of single batches (one-off production) or continuous flow production.  Each product is produced with the same uniform character and quality.





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When the first antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000,[1] only a handful of patent applications claiming ADCs had been published.[2] As research cont...

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