A perspective about the new International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for therapeutic antibodies in mAbs is online since June 16. This perspective provides the background and information needed to understand the reasons behind changing the INN. SCICOMVISUALS was asked to help with preparing the visuals for this perspective, which is now available from the mAbs website.

Janice Reichert gives a brief explanation on the website of the Antibody Society:

The World Health Organization (WHO) issues International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for therapeutic antibodies. These INNs contain the suffix –mab preceded by a source (or species) infix such as -xi- for chimeric, -zu- for humanized and -u- for human antibodies. Changes in definitions and procedures, which WHO implemented in 2014, resulted in INN with inconsistent source designations for an array of chimeric and humanized antibodies. Discussions spearheaded by The Antibody Society have now led to a resolution of the issue. At the 64th Consultation on INN held in April 2017, the WHO INN expert group decided to eliminate the source infix. Although the change was officially announced today, WHO implemented the changes promptly and applicants have already received INN issued under the new naming scheme, i.e., without an INN source infix. The Antibody Society board members Paul W.H.I. Parren, Paul J. Carter and Andreas Plückthun provide analysis and more information in a Perspective article that will be published in the upcoming August/September 2017 issue of mAbs.

One of the visuals gives an overview of the vast increase in antibody innovations in sources, engineering options and platforms over the past decades.

The figure shows an expanding toolbox for the generation of therapeutic antibodies that meet modern biopharmaceutical requirements. Therapeutic antibodies can be generated in many ways and capturing an antibody’s source in a single syllable is therefore no longer possible.