– MedImmune Starts Phase I Clinical Trial to Investigate an Antibody Developed Under a Collaboration with Humabs for the Treatment of Influenza A –
Humabs BioMed SA, a leading Swiss antibody therapeutics company, today announced that a novel antibody developed through its proprietary Cellclone technology will be investigated for the treatment of influenza A in a Phase I trial being conducted by MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.
The investigational antibody, which has broad influenza-neutralizing properties, was isolated by Humabs from human memory B cells and further optimized for higher potency by MedImmune. The resulting antibody, MEDI8852, is exclusively licensed to MedImmune. The Phase I trial (NCT02350751) is designed to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of MEDI8852 in healthy adults.
MEDI8852 binds to a novel site in the hemagglutinin stem region that is shared in viruses from all 18 Influenza A subtypes. This region is highly conserved and is considered to be the “Achilles’ heel” of the virus.
Humabs discovers and develops antibodies directly derived from individuals whose immune systems have successfully responded to major diseases. While the concept of isolating antibodies directly from recovered patients is not new, Humabs has developed a unique, comprehensive scheme for screening and selecting naturally occurring antibodies. Its proprietary technology platforms use immortalized donor B cells or cultured plasma cells with unmatched, stable secretion rates. This allows Humabs to perform sophisticated functional screens to rapidly discover antibodies able to opsonize or kill bacteria, block viral entry, or eliminate virus-infected and cancer cells. Instead of looking for binders to predefined targets, the Humabs functional approach is target-agnostic. Within weeks, it leads to ultra-potent antibodies, which can subsequently be developed for therapeutic, diagnostic, or research purposes, including the identification of novel targets or vaccines.