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Promising new West Nile therapy cures disease in mice

treatment--known as a monoclonal antibody--after finding that antibodies taken from the blood of people who recovered from West Nile fever could cure mice infected with West Nile virus. But antibodies derived from human blood have potential disadvantages: they vary in their ability to fight the disease, and although all precautions are taken to purify the antibodies, the blood might harbor other potentially dangerous infectious agents.

The Washington University scientists made 46 monoclonal antibodies against West Nile virus and then eliminated the less effective ones through a tedious molecular-level screening process. They then turned to Rockville, MD-based MacroGenics Inc., to create a human-like version of the most effective antibody. MacroGenics stitched the part of the antibody that cripples the West Nile virus into the scaffold of a human antibody. The monoclonal antibody was several hundred times more potent in cell culture tests than antibodies obtained from people who had recovered from West Nile virus infection.


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Source:NIH


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