We can recognize which cells are made and then make antibodies from them directly, Wilson said. Its a rapid and efficient way to make fully human antibodies.
While the research is aimed at combating influenza, it can be used to create treatments for any conditionsuch as anthrax or smallpoxfor which there is already a vaccine. Antibodies might also be produced from the immune responses of people with active or chronic infections. This technology has the potential to serve as therapy for someone who is already infected or provide passive immunity to protect against future infection.
Vaccines can activate the immune system, but they need time to take effect, and many offer less than 100 percent protection and carry risks of side effects, OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D., said. With further research and testing, this new method might allow a nurse going into the center of an outbreak to receive a shot to keep her safe from infection. Soldiers in the field could keep a shot of anti-anthrax in their packs in case of a biological attack.
With more research, this new technology could also be key to fighting diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cancer, Prescott said.
Wilson and his clinical collaborator, OMRFs Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., are currently working to make more antibodies from other infectionsincluding hepatitis C, pneumococcal pneumonia, and anthrax. Theyre also seeking a partner to help produce large quantities of the influenza antibodies.
We now have an outstanding opportunity to create antibodies against a host of diseases, James said. This discovery has great clinical potential.
|Contact: Adam Cohen|
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation