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BP patients are currently treated using corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, however, more targeted therapies are needed in light of undesirable secondary effects from these medications. These effects are particularly adverse for the majority of BP patients who are elderly.
To overcome therapeutic constraints, more than 30 recombinant single chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies have been generated, targeting BP180 and BP230. These antibody fragments lack the pathogenic characteristics of human-produced “full” autoantibodies. These non-pathogenic scFvs can be used in diagnostic and therapeutic applications for BP and many other skin diseases.
For example, the recombinant scFvs are capable of displacing patient antibodies that have previously bound to BP180, suggesting that the scFvs could be used alone as therapy. Additionally, the recombinant scFvs can be attached to disease-modifying drugs to provide skin-targeted therapeutic relief not only in BP, but also in many other diseases of the skin.