SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Integral Molecular IDs human antibodies that fight Chikungunya virus

Integral Molecular may have found a way for the body to fight the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus (CHIKV).

In conjunction with Blood Systems Research Institute, Integral Molecular has discovered potent inhibitory human antibodies that fight CHIKV, with the lead candidate, IM-CKV063, standing out as one of the most potent varieties, in that it also protects animals from CHIKV-induced ailments, such as arthritis.

These findings were published in the December 2014 issue of Journal of Virology. A team of scientists and researchers, led by Dr. Graham Simmons at BSRI in San Francisco, demonstrated that IM-CKV063 protects animals from CHIKV infection and disease.

“The discovery of potent antibodies with therapeutic potential against Chikungunya virus is an exciting application of the MPS Discovery Engine,” Integral Molecular CEO Benjamin Doranz said. “Given the rapid spread of this virus and the lack of specific treatment options, we are committed to developing this fully human antibody into a first-in-class therapeutic.”

Integral Molecular’s MPS Discovery Engine is the company’s top strategy for antibody isolation against membrane protein targets. In the study, antibodies from infected individuals were isolated using Integral Molecular’s Lipoparticle reagents. Epitope mapping using Integral Molecular’s Shotgun Mutagenesis then identified the antibodies’ molecular binding sites on certain viral surface proteins, which then provided critical insight to create a vaccine.

CHIKV recently has infected over 1 million people across the Caribbean, South America and the U.S.

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