Data Suggest IBT Investigational Ebola Vaccine Would Protect Wild Apes

Integrated Biotherapeutics (IBT) and its partners have published what is believed to be a novel conservation strategy in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS), wherein captive chimpanzees are vaccinated against Ebola virus to establish vaccine safety and immunogenicity in wild apes. The work represents the first time captive chimpanzees have been used for a trial that can benefit their own species rather than humans.

This vaccine is intended to protect wild gorilla and chimpanzee populations where infectious diseases, and Ebola virus in particular, are now recognized as a major threat on par with poaching and habitat loss. Chimpanzees are Endangered and gorillas are Critically Endangered, giving rise to ethical concerns about vaccine testing in wild animals. The current study did not challenge vaccinated apes with Ebola, but determined the vaccine was immunogenic and likely to be efficacious by comparing immune responses to those of macaques for which survival data is available. Further, vaccinated chimpanzee antibodies were able to protect mice from Ebola in lab tests.

These results suggest that IBT's vaccine could prevent death from Ebola infection if administered to wild populations. Non-infectious virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines like IBT's may be applied more broadly in the future to protect a variety of endangered animals from an arsenal of viral diseases.

In addition to IBT, the published research was supported by contributions from the University of Louisiana Lafayette, the US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and the University of Cambridge. The work was sponsored in part by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

Publications

A "Trojan Horse" Bispecific Antibody Strategy for Broad Protection against Ebolaviruses. Wec, A.Z. Nyakatura, E.K. Herbert, A.S. Howell, K.A. Holtsberg, F.W. Bakken, R.R. Mittler, E. Christin, J.R. Shulenin, S. Jangra, R.K. Bharrhan, S. Kuehne, A.I. Bornholdt, Z.A. Flyak, A.I. Saphire, E. Crowe Jr., J.E. Aman, M.J. Dye, J.M. Lai, J.R. Chandran, K. (2016) Science 8(2016). doi: 10.1126/science.aag3267

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Feverish Quest for Ebola Immunotherapy: Straight or Cocktail?  Aman, M.J. Saphire, EO. (2016) Trends Microbiol 10(1016). pii: SD966-842X(16)30049-X

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Zika Virus: A New Animal Model for an Arbovirus.  Aman, M.J. Kashanchi, F. (2016) PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(5): e0004702. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004702

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Virus-Like Particle Vaccination Protects Nonhuman Primates from Lethal Aerosol Exposure with Marburgvirus (VLP Vaccination Protects Macaques against Aerosol Challenges).  Dye JM, Warfield KL, Wells JB, Unfer RC, Shulenin S, Vu H, Nichols DK, Aman MJ, Bavari S. Viruses. 2016 Apr 8;8(4). pii: E94. doi: 10.3390/v8040094

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Antibody Treatment of Ebola and Sudan Virus Infection via a Uniquely Exposed Epitope within the Glycoprotein Receptor-Binding Site.  Howell KA, Qiu X, Brannan JM, Bryan C, Davidson E, Holtsberg FW, Wec AZ, Shulenin S, Biggins JE, Douglas R, Enterlein SG, Turner HL, Pallesen J, Murin CD, He S, Kroeker K, Vu H, Herbert AS, Fusco ML, Nyakatura EK, Lai JR, Keck ZY, Foung SKH, Saphire EO, Zeitlin L, Ward AB, Chandran K, Doranz BJ, Kobinger GP, Dye JM, Aman MJ. (2016) Cell Reports 15, 1–13.

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Monoclonal antibody therapy for Junin virus infection.  Zeitlin L, Geisbert JB, Deer DJ, Fenton KA, Bohorov O, Bohorova N, Goodman C, Kim D, Hiatt A, Pauly MH, Velasco J, Whaley KJ, Altmann F, Gruber C, Steinkellner H, Honko AN, Kuehne AI, Aman MJ, Sahandi S, Enterlein S, Zhan X, Enria D, Geisbert TW. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 19;113(16):4458-63.

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Aman MJ, Chasing Ebola through the Endosomal Labyrinth:, MBio, 2016, 7(2):e00346-16

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Holtsberg et al., Pan-ebolavirus and Pan-filovirus Mouse Monoclonal Antibodies: Protection against Ebola and Sudan Viruses, J Virol, 2014

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Keck et al., Macaque Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Novel Conserved Epitopes within Filovirus Glycoprotein, J Virol, 2014

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Adhikari et al., Antibodies to S. aureus LukS-PV Attenuated Subunit Vaccine Neutralize a Broad Spectrum of Canonical and Non-Canonical Bicomponent Leukotoxin Pairs, PLoS One, 2015

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Fusco et al., Protective mAbs and Cross-Reactive mAbs Raised by Immunization with Engineered Marburg Virus GPs, PLoS Pathog, 2015

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Warfield et al., Homologous and heterologous protection of nonhuman primates by Ebola and Sudan virus-like particles, PLoS One, 2015

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Sully et al., A tripartite cocktail of chimeric monoclonal antibodies passively protects mice against ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B and Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin, Toxicon, 2014

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Warfield et al., Vaccinating captive chimpanzees to save wild chimpanzees, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2014

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Aman and Adhikari, Staphylococcal bicomponent pore-forming toxins: targets for prophylaxis and immunotherapy, Toxins, 2014

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Karauzum et al., Structurally designed attenuated subunit vaccines for S. aureus LukS-PV and LukF-PV confer protection in a mouse bacteremia model, PLoS One, 2013

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Adhikari et al., Lower antibody levels to Staphylococcus aureus exotoxins are associated with sepsis in hospitalized adults with invasive S. aureus infections, J Infect Dis, 2012

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Adhikari et al., Novel structurally designed vaccine for S. aureus α-hemolysin: protection against bacteremia and pneumonia, PLoS One, 2012.

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