[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 8-Jul-2010
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Contact: Michael Horowitz
michael.horowitz@sealanebio.com
Public Library of Science

Antibody may help treat and prevent influenza outbreaks

Researchers have discovered a monoclonal antibody that is effective against "Avian" H5N1, seasonal H1N1 and the 2009 "Swine" H1N1 influenza. Scientists at Sea Lane Biotechnologies, LLC, in collaboration with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, St. Jude Research Hospital and the Scripps Research Institute, have shown that this antibody potently prevents and treats the Swine H1N1 influenza in mouse models of the disease. Results are published July 8 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

Previous work on this antibody, A06, demonstrated "first in class" activity against the evolutionarily distant Avian H5N1 and seasonal H1N1 influenzas. The authors believe that the antibody targets a conserved region of the viral coat protein, hemagluttinin, accounting for the extended breadth of activity against multiple, genetically distinct strains.

In this study, the authors isolated A06 from a combinatorial library derived from a survivor of highly pathogenic H5N1 infection. They demonstrate that the antibody is effective against 2009 pandemic influenza in a cell culture assay and also in mouse models of disease when given before and after lethal influenza infection.

In late 2009, the WHO declared the first influenza pandemic in 40 years due to the 2009 "Swine" H1N1 influenza virus which swept the globe. Fortunately, the Swine influenza proved to be mild. The pandemic did, however, point out the weaknesses in the current treatment options available to stop a more virulent pandemic. Vaccines take months to prepare and many strains of influenza are already resistant to small molecule treatments like Tamiflu. Antibodies, like A06, could provide a significant line of defense against a more serious pandemic threat and contribute to efforts to create a universal vaccine.

This study demonstrates the therapeutic potential of monoclonal antibodies to protect and treat influenza. While the study was limited to mice, the activity is reflective of the potential benefit to humans. Anti-influenza antibody therapeutics could help to fill the current gap in the existing arsenal of treatments against influenza and could, one day, help to contain a deadly pandemic, according to the authors.

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FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: This work was partially supported by NIH grants HHSN266200700010C, 1RC1 AI086061, U54 AI057158 and 5U01AI070373. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

COMPETING INTERESTS: AKK, AE, RB, LX, RES, AMF, PKF, MH, LH and RRB are employees, or have a beneficial interest in, Sea Lane Biotechnologies.

PLEASE ADD THIS LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1000990 (link will go live upon embargo lift)

CITATION: Kashyap AK, Steel J, Rubrum A, Estelles A, Briante R, et al. (2010) Protection from the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza by an Antibody from Combinatorial Survivor-Based Libraries. PLoS Pathog 6(7): e1000990. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000990

Disclaimer

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS Pathogens. The release is provided Sea Lane Biotechnologies, LLC. Any opinions expressed in these releases or articles are the personal views of the journal staff and/or article contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLoS Pathogens

PLoS Pathogens (www.plospathogens.org) publishes outstanding original articles that significantly advance the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms. All works published in PLoS Pathogens are open access. Everything is immediately available subject only to the condition that the original authorship and source are properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.



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