Adnectins: engineered target-binding protein therapeutics

Protein Eng Des Sel. 2011 Jan;24(1-2):3-9. doi: 10.1093/protein/gzq097. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


Adnectins™ are a new family of therapeutic proteins based on the 10th fibronectin type III domain, and designed to bind with high affinity and specificity to therapeutically relevant targets. Adnectins share with antibody variable domains a beta-sheet sandwich fold with diversified loops, but differ from antibodies in primary sequence and have a simpler, single-domain structure without disulfide bonds. As a consequence, Adnectins bind targets with affinity and specificity as high as those of antibodies, but are easier to manipulate genetically and compatible with bacterial expression systems. Adnectins that bind macromolecular targets with nanomolar and picomolar affinity have been selected using in vitro evolution methods, including mRNA display, phage display and yeast display. CT-322, a PEGylated, anti-angiogenic Adnectin that binds vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2 and blocks its interaction with VEGF A, C and D, is being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials for efficacy in several oncology indications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibronectins / chemistry
  • Fibronectins / genetics*
  • Fibronectins / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Engineering / methods*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism


  • Fibronectins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors