(Yicai Global) Sept. 29 -- A team of researchers led by Ying Tianlei at Fudan University's School of Basic Medical Sciences in Shanghai has discovered a highly active, fully-humanized antiviral antibody, M826, that targets new epitopes of the H7N9 avian influenza virus.
"H7N9 avian influenza is a new infectious disease, and in the past, there were no highly effective drugs against it," Ying said. Existing small-molecule drugs are not very sensitive to the avian virus and only have a limited effect on the disease.
"We found a fully humanized embryonic antibody, which means that it's very safe with a high degree of druggability, and therefore can be developed into an antibody drug."
M826 has proven effective in both preventing and curing H7N9 avian influenza among mice that are exposed to large doses of dose avian influenza viruses, and demonstrates a high level of in vivo antiviral activity, tests indicate.
The natural embryonic antibody is virtually unaffected by any somatic mutation and the team has found very similar antibody sequences in patients who recovered from an H7N9 avian influenza infection as well as among healthy people and newborn babies.