Navigation Links
Einstein helps establish $28 million consortium to find ebola treatment
Date:3/20/2014

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $28 million grant to establish a new center for excellence to find an antibody "cocktail" to fight two types of viruses that cause severe hemorrhagic fever, including the deadly Ebola virus. The project involves researchers from 15 institutions, including Kartik Chandran, Ph.D., and Jonathan Lai, Ph.D., at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Einstein will receive approximately $4 million of the total grant.

The project will be led by Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). "It's a global collaboration," said Dr. Saphire. "Everyone in the field got on the same page to collaborate on a set of definitive experiments."

Ebola causes an extremely virulent disease that leads to death in 25 to 90 percent of cases. Outbreaks of the fast-moving virus, which spreads via the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person, have occurred in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in recent years. Ebola, and its close relative, Marburg virus, are both filoviruses. The project will seek to advance treatments for these, as well as the Lassa, Junn and Machupo arenaviruses. No FDA-approved treatments exist for any of these pathogens.

Advancing Therapies Against Ebola

Monoclonal antibodies, a type of protein that can bind to and disable specific substances in the body, are currently thought to be the most effective form of antiviral treatment for Ebola and related viruses. In the last year, researchers have identified specific antibodies and cocktails of antibodies that effectively protect against Ebola virus and Lassa virus in animal models and have pioneered approaches to develop new antiviral antibodies and to assess their effectiveness.

"Our consortium represents an unprecedented soup-to-nuts effort to develop antibody therapeutics against hemorrhagic fever viruses," said Dr. Chandran, associate professor of microbiology & immunology and the Harold and Muriel Block Faculty Scholar in Virology at Einstein. "These products, when translated into clinical practice, will provide a much needed pre- or post-exposure therapy against some of the world's most lethal viruses."

Dr. Chandran will receive $2 million of the total grant and serve as co-director of the mechanistic virology core for this project, along with Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Ph.D., D.V.M., at the University of WisconsinMadison. "Our core will support all individual research projects within the consortium by assessing how well each antibody works and the mechanism by which it blocks infection. This will help us design antibody cocktails with the best chance of working in animals," said Dr. Chandran. His lab at Einstein carries out both basic and translational research on Ebola virus and identified an essential receptor that Ebola uses to enter cells and cause infection.

Developing Antibodies

Dr. Lai, an expert in antibody technologies at Einstein, will focus on discovering new immunotherapeutic candidates against the Sudan Ebola virus and Marburg virus. "We aim to fill critical gaps in the antibody pipeline against these specific filoviruses," said Dr. Lai, associate professor of biochemistry, who will receive approximately $2 million of the grant. "More ambitiously, we will seek to develop antibodies that can target more than one filovirus species, or 'broadly neutralizing antibodies.' In other viruses, such as HIV-1 and influenza, such antibodies are critical for fighting or weakening infection. However, no broadly neutralizing antibodies exist against Ebola or Marburg."

"It is very exciting to be working with a large group of talented scientists, including those here at Einstein," continued Dr. Lai. "Together, we have a chance to make a real impact on prevention of these diseases."

In addition to those named above, the other institutions and scientists on the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Centers of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) program grant, number U19AI109762, include: Gary Kobinger, Ph.D., at Public Health Agency of Canada, John Dye, Ph.D., at U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Leslie Lobel, M.D., Ph.D., at Ben Gurion University, Julius Lutwama, Ph.D., at Uganda Virus Research Institute, Robert Garry, Ph.D., and James Robinson, M.D., at Tulane University, Thomas Geisbert, Ph.D., at University of Texas Medical Branch, and Gene Olinger at NIAID. Biopharmaceutical companies on the grant include Mapp Biopharmaceutical (Larry Zeitlin), Zalgen Labs (Luis Branco) and Cangene (Cory Nykiforuk).


'/>"/>

Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Registration open for the Weinstein Cardiovascular Conference
2. Feinstein Institute Researcher Joins International Partnership in Neuroscience Research
3. Feinstein Institute researchers show a genetic overlap in schizophrenia and cognitive ability
4. Feinstein Researcher Receives 2013 Best of Manhasset Award
5. Feinstein Institute Encourages Science Education for NY Area Middle and High School Students
6. Einstein researchers lead panels at NIH Aging and Chronic Disease Symposium on Geroscience
7. How does aging affect cancer? Einstein awarded $2.8m grant to answer NCI provocative question
8. Albert Einstein Cancer Center begins 40th year of continuous NIH support with $17 million grant
9. Feinstein Institute Researcher Organizes LI Alzheimer’s Consortium
10. Feinstein Institute to Receive $330,000 Grant to Support Research of Childhood Cancer
11. North Shore-LIJ Health System's Feinstein Institute to Receive $250,000 Grant from Lymphoma Research Foundation Grant to support research of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... ... will host its 2017 Process Validation and Process Validation Statistics Conferences in ... to process validation lifecycle challenges faced by process validation professionals and statisticians ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... “We are thrilled to be partnering with ... to schedule an appointment online in real time,” said Keith English, LocalMed CEO. “Allowing ... directory will bring more Six Month Smiles patients to their providers.” , Each month, ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... The Amnesty Rally 2017 will ... Johnson Park at 3313 Bernstein Park Drive in Monroe (adjacent to the Louisiana Purchase ... to help reduce gun violence throughout Monroe. Citizens can turn in unregistered, illegally-held and ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... , ... “Now Hiring!” is a popular phrase at Home Delivery Incontinent ... sales for over 30 consecutive years and now plans to hire more than 100 ... excitement and growth at HDIS, following the company’s acquisition by Fortune 1000 company Domtar. ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... finance management services to communities across North Carolina, is launching a charity event ... raise community support for the ongoing fight against bladder cancer. , The Bladder ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/11/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , July 11, 2017  The ... had estimated revenues of approximately $394.1 million in 2016.  ... a trend of solid growth, in particular as a ... oncology clinical practice, and the recent introduction of a ... the need for less-invasive testing of tumor biomarkers to ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... , July 10, 2017  US medical equipment and ... 2021, according to Medical Equipment & Supplies: ... Freedonia Focus Reports. Continued increases in demand for medical ... of the population and supported by gains in disposable ... and supplies. New product introductions will also drive sales ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , July 10, 2017 ... of a $5m Convertible Note to support the development ... led by Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading Chinese Internet ... Center. This funding will advance multiple infectious disease product ... Founded by Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: