IBT Announces Licensing Agreement with Emergent BioSolutions for Development of Equine Immunoglobulin Therapeutics for Filovirus Infections
Filoviruses, including Ebola, Sudan, Bundibugyo, and Marburg viruses, cause a highly fatal disease in humans. The 2014-2015 Western Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak caused approximately 29,000 infections and more than 11,000 deaths. While significant progress has been made towards vaccines and therapeutics for the Zaire strain of Ebola virus, the strain that caused the 2014 outbreak, the development of therapeutics against other filoviruses is lagging. The goal of this multivalent equine product is to protect against multiple filovirus strains.
“Effective post-exposure therapeutics against filoviruses is critically important for control of future outbreaks of these deadly infections,” said Dr. M. Javad Aman, IBT’s President and Chief Scientific Officer. “It is impossible to predict which filovirus strain will cause the next outbreak and therefore, our focus should be to develop therapeutics that can provide broad protection.”
The development of this critically important hyperimmune product candidate is being directed under the auspices of a collaboration between IBT, Emergent, Auburn University, Public Health Agency of Canada, and US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Emergent, supported by IBT and their network of collaborators, intend to develop this product candidate towards approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of filovirus hemorrhagic fever. Once approved, the product may be produced for inclusion in the Strategic National Stockpile for emergency use or in response to possible future outbreaks.
About Equine Immunoglobulins
Equine immunoglobulins are produced by hyperimmunization of horses with specific antigen preparations that can induce protective antibody responses. Hyperimmune antibody preparations from horse serum or plasma have been used over the past century for the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases, intoxication, or envenomation such as snake envenomation, spider bites, botulism, rabies, diphtheria, and tetanus. One equine immunoglobulin product, Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) (BAT®), developed by Emergent, is currently included in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.