A monoclonal antibody developed by MassBiologics of the University of
Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and tested in an animal model at
the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, prevents infection by the
hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Researchers found that the human monoclonal antibody targeting the
virus protected chimpanzees from HCV infection in a dose-dependent
manner in a study conducted at Texas Biomed’s Southwest National Primate
Research Center. Chimpanzees are the only species other than humans
that can be infected by HCV and therefore the results from this study
were critical in the development of the monoclonal antibody.
The new report by scientists from MassBiologics; Texas Biomed; the
National Institutes of Health (NIH); and Merck Research Laboratories,
and funded by MassBiologics and NIH, appears in the August 30th issue of
PLoS Pathogens. Researchers had previously demonstrated that the
monoclonal antibody, called HCV1, blocks HCV from infecting liver cells
in laboratory tissue culture.