Single antibody from human survivor protects nonhuman primates against Ebola virus

A single monoclonal antibody isolated from a human survivor of Ebola virus disease (EVD) completely protected monkeys from lethal infection with the virus, according to research published in today's online edition of the journal Science. Importantly, the antibody, known as mAb114, was effective even when given five days after exposure to Ebola virus, suggesting that it could hold promise as a potential treatment for human cases of EVD.

Although several clinical trials are in progress, there are currently no licensed therapies against Ebola virus. Antibodies, or proteins produced by the immune system in response to infection, represent one possible approach to treating the disease.

In the study, investigators from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) administered a lethal dose of Zaire ebolavirus to rhesus macaques. After five days, the team treated three of the animals with daily intravenous injections of mAb114 for three consecutive days. All the treated animals survived and were free of EVD symptoms, while the untreated animal developed clinical signs of the disease.

The antibody was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who discovered Ebola virus antibodies in blood samples from a survivor of the 1995 Ebola virus outbreak in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Investigators from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Switzerland isolated the specific antibodies to test for potential efficacy in treating Ebola virus infection.

According to John C. Trefry, Ph.D., of USAMRIID, a principal investigator and one of the paper's senior authors, the study is the first to successfully evaluate a single antibody for efficacy against Ebola virus.

"While several antibody 'cocktails' have been tested, this is the first time we've evaluated a single antibody and demonstrated protection in nonhuman primates," Trefry said, adding that having a single antibody could greatly simplify the development and regulatory approval process.

Ebola virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates with high mortality rates and continues to emerge in new geographic locations, including West Africa, the site of the largest outbreak to date. Since 2014, over 28,500 cases have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with over 11,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

"This work highlights the importance of interagency collaboration," commented Sina Bavari, Ph.D., USAMRIID's science director. "The scientific community has learned a great deal from the largest Ebola outbreak in history. Combining our efforts is the best way to develop new medical countermeasures for prevention and treatment."

Research on Ebola virus is conducted under Biosafety Level 4, or maximum containment conditions, where investigators wear positive-pressure "space suits" and breathe filtered air as they work. USAMRIID is the only laboratory in the Department of Defense with Biosafety Level 4 capability, and its research benefits both military personnel and civilians.

USAMRIID's mission is to provide leading-edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents. The Institute plays a key role as the lead military medical research laboratory for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

This study was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health.

D Corti et al. Protective Monotherapy Against Lethal Ebola Virus Infection by a Potent Neutralizing Antibody. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5224 (2016)

Most Popular Now

Novartis confirms 5 year data for first and only f…

Novartis, a global leader in Immunology & Dermatology, confirmed today positive 5 year efficacy and safety results for Cosentyx® from a Phase III long-term extension stud...

FDA approves Rituxan Hycela (rituximab and hyaluro…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Rituxan Hycela™ (rituximab and hyaluronidase human) for subcuta...

Merck Foundation established

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the establishment of the Merck Foundation. Through this foundation Merck combines many of its corporate r...

Researchers develop microneedle patch for flu vacc…

A National Institutes of Health-funded study led by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University has shown that an influenza vaccine can produce rob...

Novartis Phase III study shows ACZ885 (canakinumab…

Novartis today announced topline results from the global Phase III CANTOS study investigating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of ACZ885 (canakinumab) in combination...

Jardiance® (empagliflozin) analysis reinforces est…

An analysis of pooled safety data from 15 studies plus 4 extension studies involving more than 12,500 adults with type 2 diabetes demonstrated treatment with Jardiance® (...

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's spurred by same enzyme

Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are not the same. They affect different regions of the brain and have distinct genetic and environmental risk factors. But at ...

Does the emperor have clothes?

Discovered more than two decades ago, the hormone leptin has been widely hailed as the key regulator of leanness. Yet, the pivotal experiments that probe the function of ...

Researchers publish new findings on influence of h…

Poor diet is associated with 80% of colorectal cancer cases, but the exact pathways by which diet leads to cancer are not known. In a newly published study, Cleveland Cli...

Merck awards €1.25 million to research projects th…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced its commitment to award €1.25 million to research projects in the field of fertility, supporting the adva...

Trials show unique stem cells a potential asthma t…

A study led by scientists at Monash University has shown that a new therapy developed through stem cell technology holds promise as a treatment for chronic asthma. The Mo...

FDA tackles drug competition to improve patient ac…

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking two new, important steps to increase competition in the market for prescription drugs and facilitate entry of lower...

Pharmaceutical Companies

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Z ]