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Ebola antibody treatment, produced in plants, protects monkeys from lethal disease
Date:10/25/2012

ffective medical countermeasure, according to the authors. Initially developed as a monoclonal antibody cocktail in the mouse model, MB-003 was successfully humanized and then produced in the tobacco plant-based production system.

"We were pleased to see how well the humanized mAbs of MB-003 performed," said Larry Zeitlin, Ph.D., president of Mapp Biopharmaceutical and senior author on the study. "We also were pleasantly surprised by the superiority of the plant-derived mAbs compared to the same mAbs produced in traditional mammalian cell culture."

Further improvement in antibody efficacy was developed at Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP). Using a fully automated production system that operates in accordance with good manufacturing practices (GMP), antibody is produced in a tobacco plant system. This new development process significantly decreases the amount of time required for production, increases the quantity of antibody produced, and slashes the cost of manufacturing, according to Barry Bratcher, chief operating officer of KBP and co-author on the PNAS study.

"Our GMP facility can generate a new antibody lot in two weeks to rapidly address new threats and new outbreaks," said Bratcher.

Olinger said efforts are underway to advance MB-003 to clinical safety testing as his team at USAMRIID continues to determine the true therapeutic capability of the cocktail.


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Contact: Caree Vander Linden
caree.vanderlinden@us.army.mil
US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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