BMS345 Therapeutic Proteins (8)

Therapeutic proteins (sometimes referred to as biologics or biodrugs) are protein/antibody-based drugs currently being used to treat a variety of diseases, for example autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. With roughly 200 biologics approved for therapeutic applications and over 600 under clinical development, such biotechnology products cover an increased proportion of all therapeutic drugs. This subject will introduce the technology behind this class of drugs, their importance, mode of action and applications. In addition, students will be introduced to cutting edge research methodologies currently underway in this field.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BMS345. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

BMS308 Immunology or equivalent

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the concept of therapeutic proteins (biodrugs/biologics), and give several examples
  • be able to describe the importance of therapeutic proteins for treatment of a wide range of diseases
  • be able to describe the various stages involved in the development of therapeutic proteins
  • be able to describe the concept of antibody engineering and explain how antibody fragments are used in the development of new and more stable protein based drugs
  • be able to describe the cutting edge methodologies employed to increase serum stability/ half-lives of therapeutic proteins in vivo (using animal models)


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1
  • Overview of therapeutic proteins (biodrugs)
  • The structure and function of antibody fragments
  • Antibody engineering and the application of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and antibody fragments for drug development
  • Application of antibody engineering to prolong the stability and serum half-life of therapeutic proteins
  • Cytokines and their mode of action in a autoimmune diseases
  • Anti-cytokine therapy (anti IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-); e.g. targeting cytokine receptors
  • Module 2 - Drug Development
  • Therapeutic Proteins targeting pro-inflammatory cytokines and their receptors
  • Strategies to modulate plasma half-lives of therapeutic proteins; to reduce the dose and the frequency of administration of protein based drugs
  • Current research under development
  • Module 3 - Applications
  • Application of mAb drugs for treatment of diseases such cancer and arthritis including mode of action, safety and side affects
  • Advanced antibody therapeutics

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of BMS345 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assignment 1 - short answer questions
Assignment 2 - literature review topic
End of the session examination

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.