Dr. Dimiter Dimitrov, Director of the Center for Antibody Therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh, sits down with The Chain to discuss his research and its relevance to the current pandemic. His work focuses on human VH domains, which in contrast
to the animal antibody domains, like llama and shark, may have lower probability of immunogenicity. Dr. Dimitrov helps develop several such domains, most recently against SARS2, and one of which that is in production for evaluation in human clinical
trials. Beyond COVID-19, Dr. Dimitrov explains that clinical trials for various cancer-related proteins and HIV are also underway, showing the vast potential for domains both for industry growth and life-saving therapies.
Dimiter Dimitrov, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for Antibody Therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh; Executive Vice President and CSO, Abound Bio
Dr. Dimitrov graduated and completed his PhD at the University of Sofia, Sofia,
Bulgaria, and thereafter he worked in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences where he defended his ScD and was Professor of Biophysics until he joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, in 1990. There he
was tenured as Senior Investigator and appointed at the Senior Biomedical Research Service. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 as the Director of the new Center for Antibody Therapeutics (CAT) and Professor of Medicine. He is expert in
display/screening/libraries methodologies, antibody engineering, and protein biochemistry as well as in mathematical modeling, immunology, virology, physical chemistry and biophysics. His major long-term goal is the development of clinically useful
therapeutics and vaccines against cancer, viruses and aging based on human monoclonal antibodies including engineered antibody domains, chimeric antigen receptors, antibody drug conjugates, full size antibodies, bispecific antibodies and antibody-based
fusion proteins. Two of the antibodies (to CD22 and mesothelin) he and his group identified and characterized, and his collaborators further developed, are in clinical trials for therapy of cancer, and one (to the envelope glycoproteins of Hendra
and Nipah viruses) was approved for clinical use on compassionate basis for therapy of the disease caused by these viruses. He has authored or coauthored more than 400 articles cited more than 28,000 times, several books and is inventor or coinventor
of more than 100 inventions, patent applications or patents.