Technology Bundle ID

Monoclonal Antibodies that Neutralize <i>B. anthracis</i> Protective Antigen (PA), Lethal Factor (LF) and Edema Factor (EF)

Linked ID
Lead Inventors
Zhaochun Chen (NIAID)
Mahtab Moayeri (NIDCR)
Robert Purcell (NIAID)
Stephen Leppla (NIAID)
Suzanne Emerson (NIAID)
Development Status
Preclinical studies have been performed.
Anthrax, whether resulting from natural or bioterrorist-associated exposure, is a constant threat to human health. The lethality of anthrax is primarily the result of the effects of anthrax toxin, which has 3 components: a receptor-binding protein known as "protective antigen" (PA) and 2 catalytic proteins known as "lethal factor" (LF) and "edema factor" (EF). Although production of an efficient anthrax vaccine is an ultimate goal, the benefits of vaccination can be expected only if a large proportion of the population at risk is immunized. The low incidence of anthrax suggests that large-scale vaccination may not be the most efficient means of controlling this disease. In contrast, passive administration of neutralizing human or chimpanzee monoclonal antibody to a subject at risk for anthrax or exposed to anthrax could provide immediate efficacy for emergency prophylaxis against or treatment of anthrax.

Four monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against PA, three mAbs against LF and four mAbs specific for EF of anthrax were isolated from a phage display library generated from immunized chimpanzees. Two mAbs recognizing PA (W1 and W2), two anti-LF mAbs efficiently neutralized the cytotoxicity of lethal toxin in a macrophage lysis assay. One anti-EF mAb efficiently neutralized edema toxin in cell culture. All five neutralizing mAbs protected animals from anthrax toxin challenge.
Commercial Applications
Prophylactics or therapeutics against B. anthracis.

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