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First human gets new antibody aimed at hepatitis C virus
Date:8/6/2009

ion and because of the strong medication that must be used to prevent the body from rejecting the new liver. After re-infection with HCV, nearly 40 percent of patients suffer rapid liver failure, with markedly reduced survival rates.

To close that clinical gap, the new antibody developed at MassBiologics is designed to be a therapy shortly before and after transplant surgery. By giving a patient the new antibody before and during the time when the donor liver is implanted, researchers hope the HCV virus left in the bloodstream will be neutralized and rendered unable to infect the new liver. Then, because monoclonal antibodies are highly specific and typically have little or no side-effects, additional dosages of the new antibody could, theoretically, be given immediately after transplant surgery to continue neutralizing any remaining virus.

It is also possible, researchers theorize, that the antibody could be used in combination with new antiviral drugs for treatment in patients with newly diagnosed HCV infection. "There is still more work to be done, but we are encouraged by the progress of this program to date," Dr. Ambrosino noted. "And we are grateful to the people who have volunteered to participate in this Phase 1 study. These subjects' participation will help others and advance the cause of human health."


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Contact: Michael Cohen
Michael.Cohen@umassmed.edu
508-868-4778
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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