The multidisciplinary M2Target platform

The Cellular and Molecular Immunology unit (CMIM), headed by Prof. Jo Van Ginderachter, combines scientific expertise and know-how on cellular immunology, tumor immunobiology, immunoparasitology and antibody engineering. Central research topics include elucidation of the in vivo developmental and functional heterogeneity of myeloid cells such as macrophages as well as the use of camelidae-derived single-domain antibody fragments (sdAbs) for in vivo therapeutic targeting in cancer and infectious diseases and, in collaboration with the ICMI unit, for in vivo imaging of cancer and immune cells. The available CMIM facilities include an animal unit and separate laboratory rooms for mammalian cell culture, molecular biology, protein purification and phage display, including equipment for flow cytometry, cell sorting and Surface Plasmon Resonance.

The Medical Imaging unit (MIMA) and the UZ Brussel Nuclear Medicine Department, headed by Prof. Tony Lahoutte, feature centralized multiple small animal imaging modalities including CT, SPECT, PET, MRI, optical and near-infrared fluorescent imaging as well as clini- cal PET/CT, together with a radiochemistry unit and a vivarium for housing animals.
The main research topic is the development, preclinical validation and clinical translation (including clinical tri- als) of sdAbs as targeting vehicles for molecular imaging and radioimmunotherapy, with applications in oncology, cardiovascular medicine and diabetes.

Both groups have a history of valorization-oriented Strategic Basic Research projects, contract research for biotech and pharma companies and fruitful joint research projects in the context of sdAbs- based molecular imaging and therapy.

The M2Target platform is supported via VUB-IOF funding as Group of Expertise in Applied Research in order to consolidate our cutting-edge combined expertise on macrophage-tar- geted cancer theranostics into concrete industrial offerings. Our pre-clinical research is aimed at assessing therapeutic approaches (targeted radionuclide therapy, antibody-drug conjugates), optimizing/automating coupling and optimizing pharmacokinetics (selective targeting). Our clinical translation is aimed at validating macrophages as theranostic targets and sdAbs as theranostic probes in a clinical setting, ultimately striving for patient stratification, monitoring and personalized medicine. Our valorization efforts mainly focus on licensing, contracting and strategic partnerships.

Overall, we offer a multidisciplinary M2Target team mastering among others in vivo animal models, sdAbs generation technology, cellular and molecular biology, radiochemistry, molecular imaging and radioimmunotherapy in a bench- to-bedside manner.

More info can be found in the M2Target brochure.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Medical Imaging (MIMA)
Director: Prof. Dr. Tony Lahoutte
[E] tony.lahoutte@vub.ac.be
Scientific contact: Prof. Dr. Nick Devoogdt
[E] ndevoogd@vub.ac.be
[T] +32 (0)2 474 92 66 |
[W] www.icmibrussels.be

Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMIM)
Director: Prof. Dr. ir. Jo Van Ginderachter
[E] jvangind@vub.ac.be
Scientific contact: Prof. Dr. ir. Geert Raes
[E] Geert.Raes@vub.ac.be
[T] +32 (0)2 629 19 80
[W] www.immunology.be