Visterra monoclonal antibody may neutralize H5N1 and H7N9 influenza

Visterra, Inc., presented data on Friday at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Denver that demonstrated its VIS410 human monoclonal antibody can neutralize the H5N1 and H7N9 influenza strains.

The neutralized strains of H5N1 and H7N9 both had pandemic potential. The data showed that VIS410 can neutralize H5-typed pseudovirus particles encoding predicted mutations for human adaptation.

VIS410 can also prevent H7N9 infection. In a lethal mouse model, VIS410 was able to extend survival if administered 24 hours before H7N9 was introduced.

"We are very encouraged by this data which showed the broad potential of VIS410 to neutralize two of the most dangerous influenza strains with pandemic potential H5N1 and H7N9," Donna M. Ambrosino, the chief medical officer of Visterra, said. "If H5N1 or H7N9 strains evolve to transmit efficiently in humans effective vaccines may be lacking or delayed for use in a pandemic setting and VIS410 could be a critical new treatment option. With these results VIS410 continues to demonstrate expanded potential across a broad spectrum of influenza A strains bolstering our plans to develop VIS410 as a novel universal agent to prevent and treat both seasonal and pandemic influenza."

VIS410 was developed with Visterra's antibody design technology to target on site influenza hemagglutinin.

"These results build upon encouraging data presented at the Options for the Control of Influenza conference in Cape Town last week which showed the broadly protective properties of VIS410 as an effective preventive and therapeutic agent either alone or in combination with anti-viral drugs," Brian J. G. Pereira, the president and chief executive officer of Visterra, said. "We plan to initiate human clinical trials with VIS410 in 2014."