OncoTAb's Antibody TAB 004:
Recognizes Tumor Specific Form of Protein (tMUC1)


OncoTAb, Inc. was co-founded by Mayo Clinic alumna Dr. Pinku Mukherjee, with a mission to improve the quality of cancer care by addressing unmet cancer diagnostic and therapeutic needs. Over $13 Million grant funding obtained by Dr. Mukherjee culminated in the development of OncoTAb’s technology platform (monoclonal antibody TAB 004) with cancer diagnostic, imaging and therapeutic applications. TAB 004 (US Patents #8,518,405 & #9,090,698; additional US and worldwide patents pending) recognizes a glycoprotein (MUC1) prioritized as an ideal cancer antigen by a National Cancer Institute funded study [1]. TAB 004 recognizes the altered glycosylated epitope on cancerous tissue (tMUC1) but is blocked from antigenic detection in normal tissue (MUC1) by large branches of glycosylation [2-6]. tMUC1 is present in over 90% of breast cancers [7,8] and is released in circulation making it detectable with a simple blood test.

Product Pipeline

1. Cancer Therapeutics

OncoTAb is seeking partners to develop therapies for unmet needs in breast and pancreatic cancer. Triple Negative Breast Cancer is very aggressive, difficult to treat and more likely to recur. Pancreatic Cancer is usually diagnosed late stage and does not respond to current treatment, resulting in a 5 year stage dependent survival rate of 1 – 14%.

We are using our patented antibody, TAB 004, to engineer immune cells (T cells) that can target and attack cancer cells.  The figure below shows engineered T cells binding and forming a synapse with pancreatic cancer cells to eventually kill them. TAB 004 chimeric antigen receptor is shown in red and the nucleus of cells is shown in blue. We are also investigating the therapeutic potential of TAB 004 alone or in combination with commonly used drugs to target and treat cancer.


2. In vivo Imaging of tumors

Our animal studies have shown that TAB 004 can be used to target breast and pancreatic tumors in vivo. In the image below TAB 004 conjugated to ICG (a fluorophore, shown in red) localizes to both breast and pancreatic tumors in mouse models.



  • 1. Cheever, M.A. et al., The prioritization of cancer antigens: A National Cancer Institute pilot project for the acceleration of translational research. Clin Cancer Res 2009;15(17): p5323–37
  • 2. Mukherjee, P., et al., Mucin 1-specific immunotherapy in a mouse model of spontaneous breast cancer. J Immunother, 2003. 26(1): p. 47-62.
  • 3. Gendler, S.J., MUC1, the renaissance molecule. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia, 2001. 6(3): p. 339-53.
  • 4. Kufe, D.W., Mucins in cancer: function, prognosis and therapy. Nat Rev Cancer, 2009. 9(12): p. 874-85.
  • 5. Hollingsworth, M.A. and B.J. Swanson, Mucins in cancer: protection and control of the cell surface. Nat Rev Cancer, 2004. 4(1): p. 45-60.
  • 6. Sritama Nath and Pinku Mukherjee (2014). MUC1: a multifaceted oncoprotein with a key role in cancer progression. Trends in Molecular Medicine (Cell publication) 2014; 20(6): p332–342
  • 7. Rakha, Emad A. et al., Expression of mucins (MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5AC and MUC6) and their prognostic significance in human breast cancer. Modern Pathology, 2005: p1295-1304
  • 8. Kufe, Donald, MUC1-C Oncoprotein as a Target in Breast Cancer; Activation of Signaling Pathways and Therapeutic Approaches. Oncogene, 2013; 32(9): p1073–1081