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Humabs discovers the first antibody to neutralize both group 1 and group 2 influenza A viruses
Date:7/28/2011

BELLINZONA (Switzerland) July 28, 2011 A paper published today in the scientific research journal Science, describes a novel, proprietary monoclonal antibody (FI6) discovered in a collaboration between Humabs BioMed SA, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine ("IRB") and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). FI6 is the first neutralizing antibody that targets all 16 hemagglutinin subtypes of influenza A and represents an important development in the treatment of severe cases of flu, and in finding a universal flu vaccine. The paper also discusses Humabs' high throughput method of selecting rare antibodies from cultured plasma cells.

Historically it has been difficult to isolate monoclonal antibodies from plasma cells because they do not proliferate or express antibodies on their surface. Using the Humabs' proprietary technology platform, the researchers were able to culture single plasma cells in vitro, and screen hundreds of thousands of plasma cells in order to isolate the rare ones which produced an antibody of unique specificity.

FI6 is the only antibody that has been discovered to date that binds and neutralizes both Group 1 and Group 2 human and animal influenza A viruses. When used prophylactically or therapeutically FI6 protected mice and ferrets from infection by influenza A virus using multiple mechanisms. Thus FI6 represents a promising drug for prevention and treatment of all influenza virus infections.

It is estimated that every year millions of people are infected with influenza A, of which a significant number of cases result in death. Influenza A is a quickly evolving virus and the human antibody response is effective against few strains belonging to two (H1 and H3) of the 16 subtypes. New vaccines are developed each year to match these strains; a universal vaccine that could be used every year would be a significant improvement and could help save thousands of lives.

Humabs is in discussions with pote
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Contact: Dr. Anders Harfstrand
41-798-349-320
Financial Dynamics
Source:Eurekalert

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