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Infectious disease

Influenza virus

Influenza A virus hemagglutinin (HA)

Mouse and ferret studies suggest an adeno-associated virus 9 vector that expresses the broadly neutralizing mAb FI6 (AAV9FI6) could be used to prevent influenza infection. FI6 is an HA-binding, recombinant antibody that protects mice from H1, H3 and H5 influenza virus infection. In mice challenged with lethal influenza infection, animals receiving nasal pretreatment with AAV9FI6 at least three days before challenge survived, whereas those pretreated one day before did not. In ferrets, nasal immunization with AAV9FI6 decreased viral replication and increased survival after lethal challenge with H1 or H5 influenza virus compared with immunization using empty vector. Next steps could include safety and immunogenicity studies in humans.
FI6 is being developed by Humabs BioMed S.A., which has licensed the product to an undisclosed pharma.

SciBX 6(26); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.658
Published online July 11, 2013

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Limberis, M.P. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online May 29, 2013;
Contact: Maria P. Limberis, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

Contact: James M. Wilson, same affiliation as above