ABX544, a new hope for the treatment of EBOLA virus infection 

The Ebola virus disease is a hemorrhagic fever, a severe illness often fatal to those infected, which spreads through human-to-human transmission. It was first discovered in 1976 in Zaïre, during the first known outbreak which killed 431. The last outbreak (2014-2015) involved close to 29,000 cases, and killed over 11,000 (i.e. mortality rate of approximately 40%), revealing the need for a swift medical solution.

Building on its experience in developing specific polyclonal antibodies, ABIVAX has initiated a program targeting the development of a treatment for EBOLA virus infection. The development strategy for ABX544 focuses on the rapid production and purification of neutralizing antibodies from immunized animals with specific antigen from the Ebola virus. These antibodies are then directed to targets conserved between the different strains circulating in human populations, permitting a large degree of protection and limiting the risk of therapeutic failure when faced with new variants of the virus.

The potential for the therapeutic efficacy of this approach, the flexibility of production in urgent conditions, as well as the possibility of transport and storage in hot countries will be of great advantage in epidemic situations. ABIVAX has started pre-clinical evaluation of these antibodies and aims to start a phase I study in 2018 to demonstrate safety of the product before commencing clinical studies in epidemic areas. These antibodies could be used for treating people infected with the Ebola virus, as well as preventing the spread of infection during an outbreak.

Source: World Human Organization